The Executioner's Song Analysis

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The Executioner's Song is written from an authentic perspective regarding the sanity in a convict such as Gary Gilmore. “The novel was a thematic study from the perspectives of his attitude toward the death Penalty and Gary Gilmore as a death convict,” says a critique analyzing Mailer’s book. The 1000 page book is broken into two parts, the first part is all about Gary Gilmore’s crimes. According to a review by Keith he explains, “we begin with Gilmore’s parole, and get an almost daily look into his struggle to assimilate himself into normal life outside of prison, especially in relations with women and family members concerned about Gilmore’s manipulative tendencies and violent temper, breaks it off with Gilmore, after which he commits the…show more content…
The american dream is not what it is made out to be, and Mailer uses this concept to show a different view based on what is expected versus reality. According to Rick's review he states, “-The Executioner's song thanks again, and feels anew. American dreams are now pushed back to where they beyond, and what is contemplated by daylight is an American Tragedy” (Christopher Ricks, 3). No one can ever achieve the american dream and even when you try to have a better life it can not be possible. Gary Gilmore was sent to prison when he was younger for petty crimes, and once he was freed he found a job, a girlfriend, and bought a car. Most notably, he earned money and fell in love but he reverted back to his old ways and started drinking and became violent. Mailer does an above average job displaying this, “Gary had to fight him right in the bar. He knocked the guy out,”(Mailer, 47). Even after Gary made a good change for himself he relapsed and started to have outburst and become obnoxious, which shows how hard a person can try, however they can never escape their bad habits. Gilmore grew up in a nice family however he could never stay out of trouble, and his terrible decisions ended him. Nevertheless, Mailer uses the perception of the american selfhood to show a different perspective you have about someone, “In The Executioner's Song, Mailer is exploring the uncertainties of an American selfhood and a society that build up into an intolerable tension in his main characters. Gilmore, for example, cannot control his compulsive and ambiguous behavior,” (Daniel Defoe, 2). Mailer uses the perspective about how everyone thinks of a person growing up in a great family having their life be the opposite of the “american dream”, and this leads into believing that Gary is a heartless, disgusting murderer with no
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