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Materialism in Seize the Day



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    The society described by Saul Bellow in his novel Seize the Day is overloaded by materialism, which creates lose to the ordinary people of fate. Tommy Wilhelm protagonist of the novel who is jobless and asks help from his father who is a retired doctor, he always denies helping his son because he wants him to something by his own. Even his wife did not love him but still keeps him under pressure just for money. The killing of family relationships is thus represented in the relation between parents and children and the relation between husband and wife while the killing of humanity is represented in the relationship between Wilhelm and Tamkin. As a reason for these killings, materialism remains. The term materialism refers in general to the concept of physical health and resources and the greater benefit and meaning of life which in short means behaving as a realistic concept.

    The word ‘materialism’ refers to it. So every personality in Seize the day is materialistic except Tommy, and it is made for material gain, for which the external world is invisible. They are busy with material achievement, even if an individual is to be killed. The entire life of Tommy is filled with the mistake. Choosing a job in Hollywood is his first mistake and marrying against the wishes of his parents is another mistake in his life. But Tamkin has the most critical error of keeping trust and offering his final seven hundred dollars to kill. Through using Tommy’s last method, Tamkin achieves material success. The only fact of human life is a material success. Materialism acts like a sucker sucking the blood of life. Materialism builds up mankind’s consciousness and reveals itself to destroy man. Murder is so easy, it sweeps throughout society and blends in with people’s breathing. The development of the material world thus kills the soft side of the human spirit, persuades people to kill themselves, and it seems unlikely that it is mentally or physically beheaded.

    The materialism of new urban life generates a desire to achieve economic success, the desire that Tommy Wilhelm considers stressful. Dr Tamkin expresses the feeling of modern life, that ‘there’s money everywhere. Anyone’s trying to squeeze it in.’ Wilhelm acknowledges that ‘everyone should have money … [and] they’d be disappointed not to have it.’ There are several aspects in which materialism takes on a vital interest in particular incomes. Dr Adler never misses the chance to compliment his son until he has won ‘five figures.’ Dr Tamkin says that some people are selling ‘five, 10,000 a week.’ He is happy to sell a lawyer for $20,000 on Wall Street. Even the humble in the novel convey materialism by thinking about things like wear and tear. Rubin, Gloriana’s front office employee, is a little bit of a ‘very fine wear’ clothing hound. He also enjoys the clothes of others, commenting on Wilhelm’s jacket. He would like to know if Saks, an elevated-end shop, had come from this location. Here, Dr Adler also seems to be a snappy dresser. The presence of material quality is represented by clothing.

    In Seize the Day, Saul Bellow Also tries to stress the way of life, where materialism is possibly the key American trend that starts with America’s dream. Those who can not depend on the strength of materialism, can not hold their lives and lose easy relationships with the members of their families and with the people of society. Physically, they could still be alive and mentally killed. In this culture, two forms of murder-the murder of a family relationship and the murder of a human relationship-are especially known. Wilhelm is the rent of capitalism as an individual, turns the American Dream into a nightmare, as he is eager for success, but has no knowledge of success, but has no inner resources. He is often self-absorbed; thus, he weakens the relationship with his father, his wife, as well as his children, and also becomes the easy prey of the suspect agent of society.

    Growing up during the Great Depression, Saul Bellow’s writing focuses largely on the difficulties faced by the less lucky Americans. His bleak and lifeless portrayal of the Chicago building and street scene highlights the less glamorous life and time of ordinary Americans. What makes Bellow so famous is not only for his writing about the depression but also for his ability to explain how the depression felt, the effect of the depression on ordinary Americans. Not all Americans took part equally in these increasing opportunities and increasing economic development. The picture and reality of the overall economic growth and upward development created by many white Americans had not been lost on those who had been mostly removed from the full sense of the American Dream, both before and after the Second World War. The title of the novel itself indicates a way forward for the progress of the American dream. The title was taken from one of the poems of the poet Horace.

    Dum loquimur, fugerit invida actas;

    Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero

    Carpe diem means Seize the Day or taking advantage of the time that happens every moment and by the way, the success could only be possible. Below is attempting to represent the post-war scenario of current America, where most people do not seize the time and wait for achievement in the future, which is a hopeless thought or a hope. Our narrator, Tommy Wilhelm, also dives into the sea of nightmares.

    Life is better than it had been in this post-war era. For many families, the American dream is a reality. Those who had taken their dream seriously easily obtained success. But in the long run, those who can not realize the dignity of dreams and the way of achievement had to suffer. Among post-World War II American novels are those that best address the issues of modern urban people in their struggle for belonging. His characters are trapped in a history that is no longer important to the present. Bellow brings to life a moral crisis resulting from the marginalization of man which, he claims, is responsible for a continuing distinction in the modern world. Bellow describes the horrific state of civilization, the lack of passion and mankind breakdown. Seize the Day is a creative study of the devaluation of human interaction and its causes and consequences in a capitalist system of the post-war era. Materialism or wealth causes human relationship destruction, simply and separation, hatefulness and the lack of human love and passion. People are industrial, haughty in New York City; there’s no love and kindness but anger. Family slavery is falling apart because of materialism after the Second World War.

    Ironically, a person feels separation within or within a family. Materialism is creating a void in both family relationships and individual relationships. The connection between humans is that of artificial and superficial. None care about somebody else. City dwellers are busy with their own business and it seems there is a murder of the love of human communication. On the mortality rates of city life, once Wilhelm focusses on the end of civilization with its difficulty and equipment, brick and tubes, wires and stones, holes and heights, mostly in New York. A modern man is suffocated inside himself, separated from others and even from myself. After World War II mathematics, adequate human relations are destroyed by extreme materialism. The main protagonists of Bellow’s novels are always analytical, metaphysical, and divided into cultures, beliefs, money, and connections. Seize the Day begins: ‘When it came to cover up his problems, Tommy Wilhelm was no less intelligent than the next man.’ It is as if Bellow is saying the exact opposite of Tommy Wilhelm’s situation, because he is not, at the very worst, distant from his problems. Tommy Wilhelm is the protagonist of the book, a looser and ungraceful naive in the world of finance. In the post-war capitalistic society, wealth was the only god people want to achieve material wealth in their lives.

    Only the practical and materialistic American can sustain their life, as the slogan of the American dream is: ‘Achieve achievement by any means at all.’ But Tommy always carries in his mind a sort of romantic concept. He is unacceptable for the contest. He can not understand or adjust to the changes in the society he belongs to. That is why he’s — a failing man at this age depends on his brother. This symbolizes the youth of post-World War II who could not understand and didn’t understand the meaning of the American Dream. We also see that in this universe, Tommy can realize that he does not have the quality he needs to succeed. The whole world of monetary culture, New York, where everything is decided by money, is to be portrayed in his novel. In this world of the capitalist system where humanist sense must be murdered, Tommy comes into turmoil and experiences the incapacité to satisfy himself. ‘The world is full of murderers,’ Tommy says. And the universe isn’t. It’s a hell of a kind.

    Tommy seems to be out of place and highly conscious of his loneliness in the materialistic world of New York. He has to speak to himself in the sea of the crowd because nobody can spend a couple of times listening to his pain. He believes the wrong people now and then. Over and over, he makes the same error. Although he lives in the ‘World of the rich,’ he is powerless, weak, struggling and jobless. He feels his whole life was a list of mistakes because he puts so much trust in rotten people. As a result, he did not leave anything in the end. He says ‘O God, let me get out of my situation, Let me go from my mind and let me do something better for myself’.

    Although he lives in the ‘World of the rich,’ he is powerless, weak, struggling and jobless. He feels his whole life was a list of mistakes because he puts so much trust in rotten people. As a result, he did not leave anything in the end. ‘O God, let me get out of my situation. Let me go from my mind and let me do something better for myself. Tommy prays even to take this point. Finally, we see that Tommy still stays the same as he is, instead of being a rich man. Tamkin’s capital, on the other hand, makes him more wealthy still. Yet Bellow may have aimed to expose the true influence of capitalism in the cultures of America at the time by including these characters in his book.

    Saul Bellow has finally managed, by his novel Seize the Day, to explain the post-War American society of the 20th century, where culture has a materialistic nature and people are killed because of material success. The moral reproduction and lack of humanity have made America a waste of land. Tommy aims to achieve financial success by maintaining his sense of love. Tommy still aims for financial achievement and maintains his sense of caring and love. Wilhelm’s adoptive father doesn’t care and doesn’t care about Wilhelm’s bad condition. He may support his son but continually refused to help him. He takes shelter in this condition in the character, Tamkin, who finally tries to kill his (Wilhelm) dream and escapes his final means. He relies on a falsely-defined individual who takes time to go to the market and discuss abstract things of life; he always planned an attempt successfully to kill Wilhelm. It seems the world is full of murderers. So this isn’t the world. It’s kind of a trap, man. Thus, it can be said that our protagonist, Wilhelm, symbolizes the simple-minded common American people in a capitalist society, and the rest of the characters symbolize the exploiter, money-minded and efficient business people of that society.

    Materialism in Seize the Day. (2021, Aug 30). Retrieved from

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