Study Guide

Herzog Pride

By Saul Bellow

Pride

When your wife kicks you out and starts seeing your best friend, your pride is going to get bruised pretty badly. In fact, you could argue that the entire plot of Herzog revolves around Herzog's attempts to get over himself (and his Titanic-sized ego) and to become a better person.

In tough times, it's natural for us to try and protect our sense of pride. But often, humility gets a person through trouble more than stubbornness or pride. It's not until the end of the book that Herzog realizes this, which is why everything leading up to it involves an awful lot of pain.

Questions About Pride

  1. How is Herzog the story of one man's struggle to overcome his wounded ego? What plot details support this reading?
  2. Do you think Madeleine will ever get beyond her intense pride, or is it too much a part of who she is?
  3. Do you agree that Herzog needs to get over his pride, or does he need to have more pride and stand up for himself more? Why?

Chew on This

In Herzog, Saul Bellow shows us that pride is often the biggest obstacle to personal growth.

Herzog reminds us that modesty is all well and good; but sometimes you need to stand up for yourself.

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