The Message in the Bottle Background

The Message in the Bottle Background

Published in 1975, The Message in The Bottle is a collection of essays on semiotics written by Walker Percy. Throughout this novel, Percy describes what he sees as the end of the modern age and attempts to create a middle-ground between the two dying ideologies of that time: Judeo-Christian ethics, which grant individuals freedom and responsibility; and the rationalism of science and behavioralism, which depicts man as an organism in an environment and strips him of this freedom.

In Message in the Bottle, Walker Percy offers insights on such varied yet interconnected subjects such as: the origins of mankind, Helen Keller, Semioticism, and the Delta Factor. Percy confronts difficult, often mind-bending philosophical questions with a novelist’s eye, yielding interesting conclusions about the way that language possesses all of us.

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