John Irving ” the World through GARP’s eyes»
Critics have long called John Irving a modern classic, and I am only more convinced of this with each of his new books I read. In the novel “the World through the eyes of GARP” Irving again creates a whole range of surrealism mixed with the ordinary realism, no less outstanding is the range of characters in the book. But under all these layers of artistic component, it is extremely difficult to discern the author’s attitude to his characters: does he respect them, is he critical or neutral?
I had a similar question while reading his other book, a Prayer for Owen Meany. And despite the fact that in this work the emphasis is shifted from surrealism to a more plausible relationship, in the book “the World through the eyes of GARP” we find ourselves again in New England with familiar landscapes, people, moods. Again, the image of an unusual and extremely attractive (rather than physically, but internally) single mother and her non-standard in all senses of the child, conceived under rare circumstances, comes to the fore. But these are just minor similar elements, woven into two completely different epic structures, which “hook” the reader to the hook of intrigue in very different ways, but no less firmly and firmly.
What the book is about
“The world through the eyes of GARP” touches on a variety of topics: relationships within the family, the role of the sexes, feminism, and death, although the main plot is based on the relationship between sex and violence, fiction and reality. In a global sense, the book can be called a family Saga, since it deals with three generations within the same family tree. The story centers on GARP’s relationship with his mother, his wife, and two sons. Irving often portrays GARP as the victim of an obsessive anxiety that engulfs Him at the thought that the modern violent world can cause much misery to his wife and children. But his fanatical attempts to protect the family from all sorts of misfortunes are pointless, because death and misfortunes happen again and again on the pages of the novel.
Another very important theme in the work is the displacement of the usual sexual foundations within the family. GARP is comfortable with her role as a housewife, and accepts, though does not share, her mother’s feminist views and her role as a leader in this movement. At the very moment when GARP disguises himself as a woman to attend his mother’s funeral, He gets a vivid example of how society treats women. In the image of a transsexual, Roberta shows non-traditional sexual roles in society. And of course – feminism, and in its most radical and extreme form-is another very pressing topic in the book. Although GARP’s mother did not personally consider herself a feminist, her independence from men and her subsequent book raised Her to the status of an icon. It is impossible not to mention the current of jamesianok-women who voluntarily deprived themselves of their language in protest – this current is an extremist trend of feminism, sometimes bordering on mental insanity. Sex and violence also invariably go toe-to-toe throughout the work. The book is filled with many accidents, one way or another caused by lust and human intemperance.
How society met the novel
Most critics received the novel “the World through the eyes of GARP” positively, with almost all agreeing that it is one of the best works of John Irving. It is difficult to argue with the fact that Irving’s unique style is distinguished by special refinement, ingenuity, and intelligence. In my opinion, this is absolutely a matter of taste, and personally I was much more impressed by his other novel – “a Prayer for Owen Meany”, although “the World through the eyes of GARP” hardly leaves anyone indifferent.