Clairvoyant: Somebody Who Is Able to Perceive Things Usually Beyond the Range of Human Senses.

Clairvoyant: Somebody Who Is Able to Perceive Things Usually Beyond the Range of Human Senses.

  • Submitted By: RAD429
  • Date Submitted: 12/08/2008 4:45 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 871
  • Page: 4
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Clairvoyant: somebody who is able to perceive things usually beyond the range of human senses.

Philip Roth’s The Counterlife is about people enacting their dreams of renewal and escape, some of them going so far as to risk their lives to alter seemingly irreversible destinies (K. Morris) The Counterlife speaks of the different paths that a life can take, of the motivations behind the choices that individuals make, and of the repercussions of those choices. It also plunges into the reality of being a Jewish American. The book is divided into five sections: Basel, Judea, Aloft, Gloucestershire, and Christendom. All of which explores the fate of Henry and Nathan Zuckerman as their lives revolve around one event.

In Basel, Henry lies dead in a coffin as his brother Nathan contemplates the events that put him there. Before his death, Henry lived with a heart condition and was given medicine that made him impotent. Henry’s wife Carol was content with the side effect, oppose to death, which is ultimately the worst effect of the drugs. However, Henry was very saddened by the drug. On page five the narrator stated that Henry couldn’t even stand to watch love scenes while at the movies with Carol (Roth 4). Instead he lowered his eye lids and rested his eyes till the love scenes were over (Roth 5). Henry’s frustration of not having the ability to become erect, pushed him to talk to his doctor about another surgery. Consequently, this sent Henry to the operating table for a risky surgery that would make him able to perform sexually again. The Counterlife that Henry was leading, unbeknownst to his wife, becomes the focus of Nathan's thoughts (Wiessner). Primarily because, sex with Carol was not solely the reason Henry wanted surgery. It was the thought of Wendy, the women whom he committed infidelity, sleeping with five other men that pushed him under the knife once more.

In Judea, Henry has survived the operation but takes his new lease on life as...

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