Confused Identity: Moses Herzog's Telling of His Own Story

While Moses Herzog sits in the Chicago police station after he has crashed his rental car, the narrator of Saul Bellow's work exclaims angrily, "See Moses? We don't know one another" (299). This is the lone moment in the book where the narrator explicitly suggests some separation between himself and Herzog. Much of the rest of the novel provides an unclear division between the narrator and the main character. I would argue that this unclear division occurs because these two figures, the narrator and Herzog, are in fact the same person. There are small logistical hints in the text that this is true. But these small elements of the text exist alongside much larger similarities between Herzog, and the narrator. In the largest sense, the uncertainty, the subjectivity that the narrator evinces in telling Herzog's story shows just how similar he is to the character he is describing. In the end even the quote that began this paper, the remark that ostensibly creates the strongest division between the narrator and Herzog, is evidence that these two figures are really the same - that Herzog is really narrating his own story.

The most visible element of the book that suggests some conflation of the narrator and...

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