Born in a poor family in Canada, Saul Bellow uses the experiences in his early life to develop his novel the ‘seize the day’. In the novel, Bellow illustrates various aspects that are imperative in the local and the international community. The first idea addressed in the novel is alienation. The scholar observed that international relations are characterized with the isolation of the elderly retirees from the rest of the people. For example, Tommy’s father lives in a hotel, alienated along with other elderly retirees as noted through Tommy’s flashback in the first chapter. The novel also illustrates the rise and effect of wrangles between parents and their children. Tommy tricks his parents and drops out of education at the college level that makes his father consider him a failure. In contrast, Tommy sees his father as not worthy trusting and, malicious. The point of this rivalry manifests in the creation of good relationships with the local residents instead of the people who are far away (Amidon 50).
The novel comes at a time when there exists a lot of suspicion among nations in Europe and in the Middle East. This explains Bellow’s rationale of insisting on the need of building good relations with the neighbor, but at the same time emphasize trust locally. Tommy has separated with the wife due to wrangles that they had in the house (Hitchens 150). He later falls in love with another woman, but he cannot get married to her because his wife will not give him a divorce. This illustrates how hard it is for countries to accept relating with the states that have poor local relations. Tommy meets many people in the preceding chapters to the climax and forms intriguing relationships with them. Essentially, Bellow illustrates the importance of resolving the conflicts instead of creating more troubles. Initially, when Tommy went to California, he changed his name from Adler Wilhelm to Tommy Wilhelm. This is a sign of self-denial, an attitude that was responsible for many issues affecting the people at the time of authorship. Adler fails to accept that Tommy has moved on with life and continuously counts on him as a failure. He views Tommy’s sister, who graduated from university, as the success he wants. This widens the rift between him and Tommy instead of healing the wounds (Hitchens 148).
Relationship building and foul play come in handy in the course of the novel. After declining assistance from his father, Tommy resorts to Dr. Tamkins, who is controversial and fraudulent. The author illustrates the fact of carefulness when making deals through this encounter. Tommy entrusts Tamkins with his savings despite Tamkin’s treachery habit. He lies that he is involved in a range of careers and gaining varied titles (Kaplan 132). In malice, he invests Tommy’s money in the stock market, which he claims is part of his titles. However, the results of this investment come against his expectations. Furthermore, Tommy loses all the savings that he had yet he had to pay bills for his family. Through this scenario, the author illustrates that people should be cautious when making deals with the foreigners. Monitoring the market before making decisions can help. Tommy regrets having failed to trust his father even when he offered help easily. The author uses the same point to rediscover the value of positive local affairs before rushing to international affairs (Miller 81).
Lastly, the novel illustrates the value of truth. Many people like to complain over the failures of others, yet they cannot explain their own failures. Tommy has a burst up with his wife and proceeds to a funeral to search for Tamkins. At the time when he is looking for Tamkins, he pushes in the crowds and finds himself beside a stranger. He fakes a consolation and cries (Miller 84). This shows a state of foul play, which was prevalent nations witch-hunted others at the time of authorship.
Amidon, Stephen. "Seize the Day." New Statesman Dec 10 2001: 49-50. ProQuest.Web. 19 Apr. 2013.
Gates, David. "Saul Bellow, 1915-2005." Newsweek Apr 18 2005: 55-. ProQuest.Web. 19 Apr. 2013.
Hitchens, Christopher. "The Great Assimilator."The Atlantic Monthly 2007: 145,146,148,150,152. ProQuest.Web. 19 Apr. 2013.
Kaplan, Paul. "Seize the Day." Library Journal 128.4 (2003): 132-. ProQuest.Web. 19 Apr. 2013.
Miller, Paul, et al. "Counseling Versus Antidepressant Therapy for the Treatment of Mild to Moderate Depression in Primary Care." International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care 19.1 (2003): 80-90. ProQuest.Web. 19 Apr. 2013.