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Saroyan did not consider himself a humanist.  In fact, he said it was not clear what a humanist was, and found the word “absurd” because the definition made no sense. defines a humanist as “a person having a strong interest in or concern for human welfare, values, and dignity” (  He pointed out that evil men like Hitler claimed to be doing what they felt was in the best interest of humankind.

I represent only what I am, there may be no other like me, and if I am a ‘humanist,’ it is only in terms of my understanding of myself—and the term. (Hamilton 103)

Therefore while some people might consider Saroyan a humanist since his works center on the human condition, he did not classify himself that way.

Hamalian, Leo. William Saroyan: The Man and the Writer Remembered. Rutherford [N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1987. Print.

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