Historical Context

Jewish Holidays
Toward the end of the story, Neil and Brenda agree to spend the weekend of the Jewish holidays together....

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Literary Style

Point of View and Narration
This story is narrated from the first-person restricted point of view. Neil Klugman is both the...

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Literary Techniques

Goodbye, Columbus is a moving and lyrical novel. Readers might enjoy it for its fine story, which touches on themes and social...

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Ideas for Group Discussions

While at first glance it only offers a story about summer love, Goodbye, Columbus, on close inspection, clearly touches on a number of...

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Social Concerns

Ostensibly a love story about the summer fling of youngsters Neil Klugman and Brenda Patimkin, Goodbye, Columbus is a tale...

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Bibliography and Further Reading

Epstein, Joseph, ''What Does Philip Roth Want?,’’ in Commentary, Vol. 77, No. 1, January 1984, pp. 620-27....

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(Society and Self, Critical Representations in Literature)

Suggested Readings

Baumgarten, Murray, and Barbara Gottfried. Understanding Philip Roth. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1990.

Halio, Jay L. Philip Roth Revisited. New York: Twayne, 1992.

Milbauer, Asher Z., and Donald G. Watson, eds. Reading Philip Roth. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1988.

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Compare and Contrast

1950s: Radcliffe College, which Brenda attends, is a women's college and sister school to Harvard, a men's college.


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Topics for Further Study

The little boy who comes to the library every day in ‘‘Goodbye, Columbus’’ spends his time looking only at a book of paintings of...

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Literary Precedents

Goodbye, Columbia's most hallowed predecessor is William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, arguably the most well-known story of...

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Related Titles

Roth's novella originally appeared with five short stories. Like Goodbye, Columbus, these stories focus on Jewish characters. But...

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Goodbye, Columbus is available as a recorded book. The unabridged performance by John Rubinstein is published by Dove Audio.


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Media Adaptations

"Goodbye, Columbus’’ was adapted to the screen and made into a movie by the same title directed by Larry Peerce and released in 1969. It...

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What Do I Read Next?

Portnoy's Complaint (1969) is Roth's third novel, and is his most famous, most popular, and most controversial. This novel is a...

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