Everything is Illuminated

Foer's Use of Surrealist Techniques to Convey Tone, Mood and Theme

The year 1924 marked the beginning of the surrealist movement. Aimed at tapping into the subconscious, surrealism became a growing art form that still influences artists and writers to this day. According to Andr Breton, author of "The Surrealist Manifesto", surrealism is "psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner the actual functioning of thought." Building on this idea is the concept of automatic writing, a tool that surrealists were very fond of using to tap into this "actual functioning of thought" that Breton describes. Automatic writing is a method of writing without thinking. Surrealists utilize this method because they view it as a way to break down the mental barrier between the conscious and subconscious, thus providing a clearer vision of the thought process.

Many aspects of Jonathan Safran Foer's "Everything Is Illuminated" are undeniably surrealist, suggesting that Foer employed automatic writing in the piece. He seems obsessed with the idea of not only constantly keeping his readers aware that "Everything Is Illuminated" is a written piece, but making them feel as if it...

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