Interpretive literature has a point, or better stated, a theme; this theme helps to centralize the story and give it purpose. Written by Isaac Bashevis Singer, "The Son from America", centers on the pleasures of ignorance. Niel Bissoondath makes the "crisis" in mid-life crisis the crux of his story, "There Are a Lot of Ways to Die." Philip Roth's "Defender of the Faith" deals with the conflict of values such as justice and mercy. Theme unifies the elements of any good interpretive fiction, it also opposes or reinforces many popular notions one may hold about life.
Though the clichÃÂ©, "Money is the root of all evil" could sum up "The Son from America" it would cheapen it greatly and only give half of what the theme truly means. By creating a setting in which the people participate in mass ignorance the author may show that the lack of knowledge can lead to happiness.
Although, the lack of desire for worldly things and the contentment that simplicity reveals baffle the well to do son, one can see them as the corner-stone of both the characters of the parents as well as the theme. These views represent an old-world set of morals and beliefs that, to many of the new world, appear as inexplicable as the very heavens themselves. This inexplicability reveals the theme's contrast to some popular notions that many hold.
Shattered dreams and long lost hopes underlie both the syntax and tone in "There Are Many Ways to Die." Because these two elements give rudimentary meaning to the story one might also say they reveal a great deal about the theme. Joseph's sense of defeat upon returning to the island reveals the more powerful undercurrent of the death of his idealism. The death of Joseph's dreams and his...