Bellow's first novel, Dangling Man (1944), is written as the diary of the 27-year-old protagonist, Joseph, who is left "dangling" as he waits to hear at any moment about his induction into the army. Dangling Man is often discussed as a stylistic predecessor of Seize the Day.
The Victim (1947), Bellow's second novel, also anticipates Seize the Day stylistically; both are controlled, well-constructed narratives. The Victim tells the story of Asa Leventhal, a New York magazine editor, and his conflict with Kirby Allbee, a troubled former acquaintance who re-enters his life for the purpose of settling old scores.
The Adventures of Augie March (1953) represented a change in style and tone for Bellow. Narrator and protagonist Augie March recounts the sprawling story of his life, a series of adventures, during which he shows that he is driven by a hunger for experience but possesses no desire to put down roots.
Bellow's 1959 novel Henderson the Rain King portrays the adventures of restless and dissatisfied millionaire Eugene Henderson as he leaves behind his chaotic life in America in quest of spiritual fulfillment in Africa.
Herzog, published in 1964, Bellow depicts his protagonist, Moses Herzog, as a man who is both innocent and romantic about the world, but who continually bumps up against the harsh realities of his life.
In The Fifties: The Way We Really Were (1977), authors Douglas T. Miller and Marion Nowak set out to dispel the popular myths about the 1950s as a decade of universal tranquility and complacency. The authors claim that "the image of that decade...
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