.. 90).” Amis is speaking through Rogers thoughts and satirizing American culture. Next Roger is supposed to speak before a large group of people about the publishing industry. However he is very distressed to find that his research and carefully formulated speech is missing. However, the committee still wants him to speak, they try and talk him into giving an impromptu speech but he will not.
He wanted to speak marvelously to impress Helene, but refused to speak impromptu out of anger over the thought that Arthur had stolen his work and placed a comic book in its place. He comments, “If you think Im going out there to give those people a fifty-minute impromptu chat youre doomed to disappointment. They might not be able to tell the difference between that and a serious lecture but I can. I wont do it (100).” Roger then storms back to the Bangs home and accuses Arthur. Helene defends his son from the accusations, “Let me have a look at that thing..But this is “Crazy” magazine, not a comic book. Kids dont read this-not kids of Arthurs age.
Its way beyond them. Its far to sophisticated (105).” In Rogers rage he proclaims, “Arthurs remarkably intelligent.” The matter is settled when Ernst turns to the back page of the magazine and reads the inscription, “Property of Rho Epsilon Chi Fraternity: not to be removed from reading room.” Roger then left, got drunk, and then returned to his room in the Bangs home only to hear Ernst and Helene together in the other room. Roger woke the next morning and prepared for the evenings party on a Barge that night. In the afternoon, before the party, Helene drops Arthur off at the zoo with a neighbor so Roger and her may have a few hours alone to continue their affair. During which time Roger receives a phone call from Irving, at which time he confesses to having taken Rogers materials. Roger is so concerned with this change in developments that he puts his time with Helene on hold and attempts to take action against Irving. Helen is unhappy with this and simply leaves Roger. That night Roger Irving and a young woman play a trick on Roger.
Roger ends up with bite marks on his neck, Mollie knowing that he was ready to have an affair with a young woman and Roger left humiliated in the dark on the island. Once again Irving catches Roger off guard. The next day Helene left home without telling Ernst where she went and simply put things on order for her family. Ernst and Roger talk about where she could be; the whole time Ernst does not suspect Roger could be having an affair with Helene. Roger figures he knows where Helene is, with Irving. He gets a hold of Strode Atkins apartment key and taxis to New York to find them.
In New York he finds the apartment with no one inside. So he waits for a while and then searched the town for them. Eventually Roger catches them. However, he is caught off guard, too. Helen tells him that she has never really loved him and only slept with him out of pity.
She orders him to leave and states she doesnt want to have anything more to do with him (181). This obviously hurts Roger, but theres nothing he can say in response. The following day he leaves for England. Ernst and Helene are reunited and all seems back to normal. After sixteen days of nothing he returns to his wife the same man as when he arrived in America.
Although Helene flatly said shes through with him and Mollie wont sleep with him again, he still has a hope that they will get together during his next stay in America. 8. Conflicts A major conflict within the novel is Rogers lack of self worth due to the fact he is fat. This is evident in the fact that he believes he is too fat to take of more than his jacket on a hot day and his belief that his “mammary development would have been acceptable only if he could have shed half his weight as well as changing his sex (7).” His obsession with drinking also has to do with his lack of self-esteem. He is a womanizer and drinks when he feels down and depressed, nearly all the time.
Another conflict is the fact Roger sees himself as a proper Englishman and does not agree with most of Americas customs and its abuse of the English language. “He normally made a point of not conforming to American usage or taste in the smallest particular (7).” He has a tough time submitting to the different language that Americans use and their way of thinking. One night he got into a deep conversation with a cab driver while drunk. The cab driver responded, “Your basic objection to Jack Kennedy appears to be that he is an American. Dont think I dont sympathies, but unfortunately we have this law here that says the President of the United States has to be a citizen of the Republic.
Unreasonable, I grant you, but there it is. Dura lex sed lex, old man, which is Iroquois for “Why dont you go back to your island and stay there”. Good-night (108).” There is also a very evident conflict-taking place between Roger and God. It is obvious God does not agree with Rogers lifestyle. However, Roger chooses to call upon the Lord at times that pleases him.
One of his chronic difficulties was reconciling his belief in the importance of priests and the Church with his apathy towards most of the former and aversion from most of the doctrines and practices of the latter, a conflict also to be seen in his relations with the Omnipotent (89). He continues in such fashion by stating religion “Superhuman only on scale (91).” Obviously Roger does not want to bow before a force that does not permit him to have the kind of fun he wants to. Father Colgate also has a conflict between himself and Roger. He comments, “In my calling one very quickly develops what might almost be called an instinct whereby he comes to detect infallibly the signs of a soul at variance with God. You, my son, are very disturbed..A man doesnt act like a child unless his is hurting him.
Your soul is hurting you, Mr. Micheldene. Wont you allow me to hear your confession, my son? Soon. The sooner the better (101).” This is truly a problem and disappointment for Father Colgate because he genuinely cares for Rogers soul. The real conflict for Father Colgate arises when Roger finally asks the father to hear his confessions but is insincere in his repentance. The father must make the call as to whether or not Rogers repenting is valid.
There is a conflict between Roger and women in general. He has been married at least two times and has not managed to remain faithful. He uses women for sexual pleasure, caring only for his own feelings, and then comments on how silly women are. He does not like the power they have over men nor their ability to change men. 9.
Major Themes One major theme within the novel is the search for self worth. Roger tries to find his worth in meaningless relationships and alcohol because he is so insecure about himself as an individual. This is parallel to the fact that he is fat. I think most people have the same type of problem. They feel one aspect of themselves is so hideous that they try to cover it up inside by lashing out on others or simply using others to feel good. Amis is pointing this out through Rogers actions and relationships. Besides that I have a difficult time finding themes within the work. I saw how Amis continually pointed out how lust conquered a man and womans sense of right and wrong.
However, Helene states she cannot lie to Ernst about where she is. Obviously her entire life is a lie because he believes her to be faithful. Perhaps Amis is also trying to point out the fact that things are not always as they seem. People seem to have good jobs and money, but that doesnt account for happiness, as in Joes unhappiness with his life and sudden outbursts of anger. Also he sort of hints at the fact that men are only out to get what they want and is ready to squash any one who stands in their way.
For example, Roger is angrier with Irving over the fact that he stole Helene for the weekend then the fact Irving humiliated him so many times. Overall, I believe Amis wrote very little moral value into the novel, nor did he incorporate major themes. It seems to me the novel is simply a satire about American life. Amis also uses outrageous instances to make us fell sorry for the fat Englishman that is really undeserving of pity because he is so mean and nasty. 10.
My Favorite Scene My favorite scene within the novel is quite simple, but I find it humorous. Roger is at Helenes home and her son Arthur just returned home from school. Arthur is unhappy with Roger being there and Roger is just as unhappy that the childs presence spoiled his afternoon plans with Helene. However, Roger must make an attempt to show Helene that he is compassionate by trying to befriend Arthur. After a one sided conversation with Arthur, Roger is about to give up.
Then Arthur asked Roger to play scrabble with him. The two sat down to play and needless to say Roger drew letters from the bag that offered no chance making a word for quite a while. Arthur, a small child with a smaller grasp on language than Roger, was winning. Eventually Ernst came home and Roger was stuck playing the game in front of both Helene and Roger. “The humiliation of being routed at a scrabble game by a seven-year-old seemed destined to pass by Roger (66).” Thus, Roger asked to resign from the game, but Arthur informed him that resigning is not allowed.
Thus, they were forced to continue playing. Arthurs next word was N-I-T-E-R. Roger looked at the word curiously and said “Niter? Whats that supposed to mean?” Arthur ironically said, “You know, like a one-nighter.” To which Roger responded “No such word” and challenged Arthur. Arthur opened a dictionary and read “Niter, a Potassium nitrate. A supposed nitrous element.” Roger still argued with Arthur and said the correct spelling is N-I-T-R-E.
When Arthur shook his head Roger angrily stammered, “I..But that is a bloody American dictionary.” To which Arthur responded, “This is bloody America.” I found this quite humorous because I could easily visualize the scene. A large man and a small child playing a game, the older man losing and then the childs retort. I also enjoyed the fact Arthur then quoted Rogers new score of”minus 21.” 11. The Significance of the title The title of the novel is One Fat Englishman. The novel is named this because its main character is an Englishman, Roger, who is considerably overweight, fat.
12. The authors point of view The novels point of view is third person omniscient. This allows the reader to know not only what Roger is thinking and feeling but what others are, too. Thus, the reader does not simply see everything from Rogers perspective. Also this allows the reader to understand more of what is going on between and in scenes.