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Seize the Day
by Bellow, Saul
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1. The expression Carpe Diem (translated as seize the day) is used as an inspirational expression in current culture. Does Bellow's Seize the Day carry the same connotation?

2. Both Wilhelm and his father, Dr. Adler, blame each other for their estranged relationship. Is one person more to blame than other? Which one and why?

3. Bellow is known to write about alienation and isolation. What are some examples of these themes in Seize the Day? Are there examples of the characters helping each other?

4. Was Wilhelm's plight the result of his own actions or was it circumstantial? Why did he put his trust in Dr. Tamkin?

5. Seize the Day ends with Wilhelm actively mourning a man that he never met. What motivated him to act this way?

6. Although Seize the Day is considered a literary classic today, in 1956 (when it was published) it was a contemporary novel. Is the story as relevant today as it was 50 years ago? How could the book's impact have changed? How would it differ if written today?

7. Saul Bellow and Seize the Day are highly respected by literary scholars. Were you appreciative of Bellow's writing style? How does his writing style compare to books written today or older classics?

8. Literary scholars frequently mention an underlying theme of Reichianism in Seize the Day? Are you familiar with this theory of psychology? If so, what are examples of Reichianism in the novel?

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