Type: Narrative Essays
Sample donated: Reginald Colon
Last updated: February 26, 2019
JohnBarth starts to copy the mythic epic pattern and literary structures with histhird book, The Sot-Weed Factor(1960, reprinted1967). It is generally a copy of the eighteenth-century noveland a detailed definition of (1708) Ebenezer Cooke’s poem of the same title,which parodied Maryland and the New world. It is profusely comic and satiric Bildungsromanof the imitations of America. Cooke’s schooling and liberation are attainedthrough his failure of innocence through knowledge, sacrifice, love and pain.
The fiction accomplished generally because of its great novelist Fielding likeoutlining and its comic and self- tolerant. The pattern is a copy of a commoneighteenth-century fiction. In TheSot-Weed Factor has not yet imitated his experiment with the absolute as asolipsistic device, with the absolute enquiring of all forms and knowledge andwith an establishing dismissal from the book reviewer.
In this directionBarth’s humor creates the audience irritation about the cases, and the fictionis devotedly charming. The Sot-Weed Factorexhibits a comic change its aims at Barth from the true existential and verypopular novels introduced it, TheFloating Opera and the End of theRoad. Witty parody activates Barth’s development toward investigation withthe narrative style, but the main dream and aim of that spoof in The Sot-Weed Factor past events, not amyth.
In this fiction, Barth employs the American myth of Pocahontas and JohnSmith with the similar theme and imaginative parody that he will again executeto myth. The demystification of history is the most humorous and delightfulpiece of the fiction.Asearly mentioned, Barth realizes the use of mythical characters to entreat greatresources of history and literature. It is on this status of credential to therichness of the classics that TheSot-Weed Factor directs, not to the analogy of mythology. Ebenezer Cooke’simportant link to myth is with Barth’s imitation of the common mythical heroicshape. The acknowledges and distinguishing to mythology within the story aredone to forward mock-heroic and to build up the traditional burlesque mock–heroic aspect is imitated through the difference of the great language to thepoor humorous circumstances with burgers, prostitutes, and gamblers. As RussellMiller’s points out as “Barth marks the horizon from subordinate any humorlessmythical situation, so he parodies history itself.”(17)Themythical tasks that provisionally develop in the novel are the heroic modelthat will be a long way carefully analyzed in Giles Goat- Boy, and the Proteus myth which describes to the writerin the character of Burlingame.
The later work will also be extended morerecent novels. The earlier novelists set more to like eighteenth-centurynovels, like as Tristram Shandy and Tom Jones, next to European novels, suchas Candide and Don Quixote than to classical literature.Cooke is the central character of the novel, but Burlingame’s similarly searchfor his identity and family practice is also identity. It is particularlycreated in the book through Burlingame’s search for the first HenryBurlingame’s and John Smith’s mystic periodicals; the main purpose of theidentity, as well as the real necessity of story, is to allow Barth to recreatetradition through parody. Philosophical quest for identity and the illogic’s’inquiring and comical romance are still more necessary to Barth in The Sot-Weed Factor than Mythology. Onthe other hand Jerry Powell points out Barth’s reaction to the Literature of Exhaustion, is the obstacle with associatesBarth’s approach to his previous novels.
TheSot-Weed Factor and Giles Goat-Boyare reflects the works orderly. GilesGoat-Boy indicates some of Barth’s next authorial affection- an authorcopying the sort of author as in the creating preludes and footnotes. The novelGiles Goat-Boy explores the importantthemes that developed from The Sot-WeedFactor and its common response, as hero-hood and identity. It would be aconfusion to glance too many myths into Barth at this point of view in hisprofession.