62 pages 2 hours read

Saul Bellow

The Adventures of Augie March

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1953

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Character Analysis

Augie March

Augie March is the eponymous narrator and protagonist of the novel. Speaking frankly to the audience, he shares the story of his life from childhood to middle age. This story—at least in Augie’s younger days—bears a resemblance to Saul Bellow’s life, indicating that many aspects of the story are autobiographical.

Augie is a underprivileged Jewish immigrant from Canada who moves to Chicago at a young age. He grows up without a father figure after his father abandons him, his mother, and his two brothers. This absence creates a vacuum of influence in Augie’s life, which affects his search to understand his own identity. Augie’s adventures are portrayed as a series of influences, all of which shape him in some way. Simon, Grandma Lausch, Einhorn, and Thea all play an important role in developing his story and his sense of self. Likewise, Augie uses several instruments in his quest for self-discovery. Each of the jobs he takes, the academic courses he enjoys, the books he reads, or the romantic relationships that he squanders are not told to the audience for fun but to fuel his unrelenting journey of understanding.