Write an analysis of chapter 4 and 5 of Patrimony.

An analysis of chapter 4 and 5 of Philip Roth’s Patrimony could parse the importance of having someone to talk to when upset or the unpleasant realities of caring for a parent whose faculties are diminishing.

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To analyze chapter 4 of Philip Roth's nonfiction book Patrimony, consider how Roth deals with his worries about his father, Herman. He tries to eat and watch a baseball game but he can’t. What he does is call a friend. One might focus on how this chapter illustrates the importance of having someone to talk to if they’re feeling low or upset. The conversation with Joanna Clark, who also lost her father (albeit a long time ago), appears to provide Roth with a needed outlet.

Sticking with chapter 4, one could also analyze the racial implications of the story that Roth tells about the time his dad was robbed by a young person of color. Think about how his dad handles the situation with humor and why his dad’s treatment of the young person of color might or might not be received favorably today.

As for chapter 5, perhaps parse the importance of the New York Mets. Talk about how something like a baseball team can take on a personal meaning and become a fundamental part of a relationship.

Another approach to analyzing chapter 5 is to discuss the scene in which Herman loses his bowels. Try to figure out why Roth chose to include this graphic scene in his memoir and what it says about the uncomfortable reality of taking care of someone whose faculties are diminishing.

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