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A Conversational Narrator

In The Travel Habit Fall 2014, A Cool Million by Richard1 Comment

One of the things I enjoyed about this reading was the narrator. First, the narrative was rather conversational, rather than inherently didactic. The brings the reader into the story, opening it up and making it more accessible. This type of narrative also exhibits humility, as the narrator is basically saying that they don’t know everything, and are learning and experiencing …

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Phantom Hope

In The Travel Habit Fall 2014, A Cool Million by Nancee1 Comment

Is Nathanael West’s A Cool Million meant to be a satire? Is he provoking thoughts that the “American dream” is a myth? If Lemuel Pitkin is any example to go by, then yes. No matter how hard one tries and works and believes, sometimes it ends in tragedy. His entire presence in the novel is characterized by denials and misgivings. …

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Nothing But Heartbreak

In The Travel Habit Fall 2014, A Cool Million by Sydney1 Comment

Although I personally did not enjoy Nathanael West’s A Cool Million, the story did bring up interesting subject matters. The story of Lemuel Pitkin is a troubling and rather sad narrative criticizing the American Dream. Lemuel sets off to New York City from Vermont in hopes of making his fortune in order to help pay off the mortgage to his …

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West’s Secular Calvinism

In The Travel Habit Fall 2014, A Cool Million by Lia Masur1 Comment

Nathanael West’s A Cool Million is a novel filled with dark humor. Michael Dunne analyzes West’s Calvinist sense of humor in Nathanael West: ‘Gloriously Funny’”. He explains that by growing up in America at the time that West did, he was influenced by the Genesis Story that is based in Calvin’s philosophy. He has an obsession with humans that “seem …