Journal Article — Perpetual Fear’: Repetition and Fantasy in The Plot against America by Philip Roth — by Martine Chard-Hutchinson

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This paper seeks to examine antisemitism as a powerful notion in Philip Roth’s The Plot against America and the way it is rooted in the “Perpetual Fear” leitmotif, an almost transparent literary transposition of Hannah Arendt’s major tenet: “eternal anti-Semitism.”

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Abstract

This paper seeks to examine antisemitism as a powerful notion in Philip Roth’s The Plot against America and the way it is rooted in the “Perpetual Fear” leitmotif, an almost transparent literary transposition of Hannah Arendt’s major tenet: “eternal anti-Semitism.” It primarily targets repetition and fantasy as they are the stylistic devices it is associated with. By introducing antisemitism as the result of Charles Lindbergh’s being fictitiously elected President of the USA, Roth boldly combines history and fiction, collective History and personal memory. He successfully undermines the myth of the American hero and gives this pseudo-political novel a personal twist due to the first person narration.

Recommended Citation

Chard-Hutchinson, Martine. 2009. “Perpetual Fear’: Repetition and Fantasy in The Plot against America by Philip Roth.” Pp. 145-150 in Historicizing Anti-Semitism (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume VII, Issue 2, 2009.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).

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