Book Review: Mr.Sammler’s Planet by Saul Bellow

Mr. Sammler's Planet, by Saul Bellow – 1969 (1977) [Roy Ellsworth ...

“Mr. Sammler’s Planet” is the work of American writer Saul Bellow. The novel describes in great detail a three days trip to New York of a Polish Jew who survived the second World War. He attended lectures, was threatened by black pickpockets, his daughter took manuscripts, and his nephew died. The story is interspersed with untold personal and painful memories of the concentration camp’s dark days—the experience of being buried alive, his wife dying, and him trembling in the tomb. The story has a strong sense of painting the protagonist’s real life in front of the reader. “Mr. Sammler’s Planet” is filled with Mr. Sammler’s musings on such weighty questions as humanity, history, religion, the past and future of mankind.

Mr Sammler’s eyes give the reader a unique perspective on the world. Mr. Sammler had only one eye, and he could see the outside world from only one angle. The beginning of the novel presupposes Sammler’s specific ethical standpoint. Mr. Sammler was blind in one eye, but that did not prevent his interest in the outside world. He still had a special interest in books and papers, implying that he was a man of learning. The author apparently reminds the reader again of Mr Sammler’s patient status. In addition, in this description, the author adds some new information, suggesting that Mr. Sammler is a man of insight, and that his observations of the outside world are worthy of the reader’s expectation which prepares the author to express his views later through what he sees and feels. The description of Mr. Sammler as a patient creates a good foundation for plot development in the novel.

-Coreen C.

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