Paranoia defines a culture, particularly the American. Since WWII (1939-45), it became an inevitable thought structure in the USA community. Most of the postmodern American novelists’ interest in paranoia is due to its relevance to everyday life anxieties and horrors. Since WWII, an extraordinary number of writers have used expressions of paranoia to present the influence of postwar technologies, social organisations, and communication systems on human beings. Writers as different as Ralph Ellison, William S. Burroughs, Joseph Heller, Margaret Atwood, Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon, Joan Didion, Kathy Acker, and Don DeLillo have depicted individuals nervous about the ways large organisations might be controlling their lives, influencing their actions, or even constructing their desires.
The fictional representation of paranoia has become increasingly popular in periods marked by scepticism about unmediated reality. An attempt to regenerate hope encourages many postwar writers to present paranoia as a positive state of mind, an intelligent and fruitful form of suspicion, rather than a psychosis. The aim of this study is to examine the postmodern American novel representations of paranoia.
The paper deals with Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007), his war experience and its effect on his work, and presents a brief examination of his employment of science fiction and surrealism which distinguishes him as a postmodern novelist. The paper is devoted to an in-depth discussion of the revelations of paranoia in two novels. The protagonist’s paranoid illusions in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1966) enable him to reinvent his reality which is plagued with decay and obsession with wealth. It is entitled “Paranoia of Reinventionˮ to indicate that paranoia in Vonnegutʼs novels is objective in the sense of being a way to reinvent oneʼs world through illusions.
Qadoos, Inas Abdul-Munem and Ashjian, Prof. Shaké Ashjian
"A Paper from a Ph.D. dissertation entitled: POETICS OF PARANOIA IN SELECTED NOVELS BY KURT VONNEGUT AND THOMAS PYNCHON,"
Midad AL-Adab Refereed Quarterly Journal: Vol. 4
, Article 14.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.aaru.edu.jo/midad/vol4/iss4/14