Where is Zuckerman's transition from narrator to storyteller in American Pastoral?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In American Pastoral, the narrator -- Nathan Zuckerman, an alterego of author Philip Roth -- decides to write a book about the infamous Swede, a schoolmate who lost everything. However, since the Swede is dead, Zuckerman must interpret and imagine many parts of his life. He moves from thinking about the Swede to directly narrating his supposed life while at a class reunion:

So then... I am out there on the floor with Joy, and I am thinking of the Swede and of what happened... I am thinking of the Swede's great fall and of how he must have imagined that it was founded on some failure of his own responsibility. There is where it must begin.
(Roth, American Pastoral, Google Books)

His imagination places various reasons for everything in the Swede's life and all the facts he knows; he must presuppose many of them because he cannot know for sure, but in his mind, at least, it all makes sense. The reader must therefore take Zuckerman's tale with caution, knowing that many events he shows may have not happened.

rebeccahll | Student

I may be mistaken but I think it's when he's dancing with a woman at the reunion and he imagines what happened; he puts himself in Swede's position. PLEASE don't hesitate to correct me if this is wrong!!