Postmodern View of Socioeconomy and Politics in Absurdistan

America: a land of freedom, opportunity, and prosperity; a country that highly advocates the amalgamation of conglomerating cultures. Ironically, however, in Gary Shteyngart's novel Absurdistan, the Russians transcend Americans in their pursuit for wealth, status, and size. The protagonist, Misha Vainberg, is a 30-year-old Russian heir to a post-Soviet fortune. Having spent 12 years in the United States, he considers himself “an American impounded in a Russian body (Shteyngart 14).” As he experiences life from one country to another, Misha begins to develop relationships with people of different race, culture, background. These relationships not only test his character, but also provide readers a microcosmic view of the controversies he encounters. The element of post-modernism presented in this novel alludes not to a cultural and intellectual phenomenon, but to a corrupt and devastating trend with unmarked boundaries. By intertwining self-conscious playful critique of post-modernism and experimental neo-realist deployment of perspective, imagery, language, structure, and tone, Shteyngart is critical of post-modernism as a socio-economic and political trend. By depicting Absurdistan and other post-Soviet countries as...

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