Who is the antagonist in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the story, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, the antagonist is more of a concept than an actual person. The protagonist, Eliot Rosewater, is engaged in a battle with his family and community’s historical values and traditions. These values and traditions have drawn a clear line separating the wealthy and the poor and their ability to interact is highly restricted.

Eliot arrived back home after a traumatic experience and decided to change his ways. He became philanthropic in an attempt to overcome his trauma. Eliot started a foundation and increased his interaction with the poor. However, his efforts were viewed in disdain by his father, his wife and the wealthy class of the society, who believed he had gone insane. Norman Mushari the crooked lawyer attempted to usurp Eliot’s wealth and restrict his generosity but Eliot cunningly overcame his machination. The lawyer is thus presented as the face of the antagonist in the story. He is the most active person in maintaining the status quo between the rich and the poor.

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God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

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