John Updike's Terrorist Analysis

1665 Words 7 Pages
THE MAKING OF A TERRORIST: A CRITICAL READING OF JOHN UPDIKE’S ‘TERRORIST’
Saraswati
Ph.D Scholar, Department of English, Central University of Haryana, India

ABSTRACT
International Terrorism has been on the rise for the last few decades. John Updike’s novel ‘Terrorist’ explores the evolution of a modern terrorist in the context of post 9/11 America. This article applied three sociological theories that sought to explain the motivations of a terrorists to John Updike’s novel. These theories were social learning theory, frustration-aggression hypothesis and relative deprivation theory. It was discovered that in many ways the actions of the lead character in John Updike’s novel who almost ends up committing an act of terror can be explained
…show more content…
The Jewish Zealots who rebelled against Roman Occupation of their homeland of present day Palestine in the first century of the Common Era are commonly referred to as the first recorded terrorists in history [1]. While the methods used by terrorists have changed with time due to technological progress, for instance the Jewish Zealots used knives and swords to slash and kill Roman officials whereas today there is use of guns and bombs by terrorists, the use of terror to achieve social, political, economic, cultural or religious ends remains the central cornerstone of the phenomenon of terrorism. In this context, this paper looks at post 9/11 uptick on terrorism across the world using three sociological theories - social learning theory, frustration-aggression hypothesis and relative deprivation theory. These theoretical insights will be applied on the novel ‘Terrorist’ by John Updike which traces the journey of a young Muslim man in post 9/11 America who almost commits a major terror attack in the US. The article is divided into two sections apart from an introduction and conclusion. The first section introduces the three sociological theories mentioned earlier in a concise manner. The second section highlights the key elements from the plot of John Updike’s novel and then proceeds to dissect them based on the sociological theories of social learning theory, frustration-aggression hypothesis and relative deprivation

Related Documents