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Tropic of Cancer

Tropic of Cancer

by Henry Miller

Tropic of Cancer Analysis

Literary Devices in Tropic of Cancer

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

The City of Light?Miller spent much of his time as an expatriate in Paris in the 1930s—a time when the city was considered the world's artistic and intellectual capital. No wonder he's such a sno...

Narrator Point of View

Through Miller's meandering narrative we learn to understand one main thing: him. All of what we learn and know by the end of Tropic of Cancer comes directly from his mind—complete with attitudes...

Genre

You're probably not surprised to hear that Tropic of Cancer doesn't fit snugly into one genre category. Miller is all over the map, just as he intended. We've definitely got some autobiography goin...

Tone

Yep, low. And we're not the first to say it. American writer, literary and social critic Edmund Wilson lays it out for us:The tone of the book is undoubtedly low; Tropic of Cancer, in fact, from th...

Writing Style

We're here to tell you that Miller is going to make you do a little work following his train of thought. This guy is no Hemingway. Nope, Henry Miller liked to fancy it up. He wrote during the what...

What's Up With the Title?

No need to get your globe out: Tropic of Cancer isn't about the Northern tropic.Instead, it's a little play on words. We can actually look to Miller himself for an explanation of the title: "It was...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

"These novels will give way, by and by, to diaries or autobiographies—captivating books, if only a man knew how to choose among what he calls his experiences that which is really his experience,...

What's Up With the Ending?

Before we get to the ending, let's jump back to the beginning for just a second.Tropic of Cancer starts in the Villa Borghese, with Henry's friend Boris and some lice and some hunger; and then it m...

Tough-o-Meter

As long as you can go with the flow and relax yourself into the twisted mind of Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer isn't too tough. Sure, there's some jumping around and a few flashbacks that can lead...

Plot Analysis

That ItchesWe get the big picture here: Henry is poor and there are some serious bugs around. We get to know our protagonist through his casual attitude. We also learn know that Henry is a romantic...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Because Tropic of Cancer doesn't have a linear narrative, it's not going to fit exactly into each stage. But we love trying to put square pegs into circular holes, so here's our shot.Now, we know t...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Henry's living large and little all at the same time. Sure he's starving and risks getting the clap with every liaison he has, but he wouldn't have it any other way. His friends help him get some o...

Trivia

We're not sure how The Grapes of Wrath beat out Henry Miller, but Tropic Of Cancer finds itself as #3 on the most banned books list. (Source.)Everyone's pretty sure that Tania is based on Ana...

Steaminess Rating

Yeah, you're gonna want some parental supervision for this one. Actually, maybe you shouldn't read this with your parents at all. Within pages, you'll be accosted with "cunts" and "pricks" and sex...

Allusions

Leo Tolstoy (1.18)Somerset Maugham (1.20)Oswald Spengler (1.20)Baruch Spinoza (1.34, 9.3)Ivan Turgenev (1.38)Fyodor Dostoevski (1.38, 8.94, 13.12, 13.20)Anatole France (1.49, 11.17)Emile Zola (2...

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