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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 191

The little boy who comes to the library every day in ‘‘Goodbye, Columbus’’ spends his time looking only at a book of paintings of native women in Tahiti by Paul Gauguin. Roth uses the imagery of the paintings to symbolize a world of escapist fantasy. Find a book of paintings...

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The little boy who comes to the library every day in ‘‘Goodbye, Columbus’’ spends his time looking only at a book of paintings of native women in Tahiti by Paul Gauguin. Roth uses the imagery of the paintings to symbolize a world of escapist fantasy. Find a book of paintings by Gauguin. In what ways are these paintings especially suited to the story's theme of fantasy and escapism?

The novella ‘‘Goodbye, Columbus’’ was made into a movie by the same title in 1969. Watch the movie and compare and contrast the ways in which the themes of the novella are treated in the cinematic form.

Roth's stories are usually about Jewish characters and include themes of Jewish culture and identity. Read another short story or novella by Roth. In what ways does it treat these themes similar to or different from the ways they are handled in the story ‘‘Goodbye, Columbus’’?

Roth intersperses Yiddish words throughout his story. While Yiddish is rooted in Jewish culture, it has also become a part of the idiom of American English. Compile a list of Yiddish words you know or have heard, and what they mean.

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