Literature and Film as Modern Mythology

By William K. Ferrell | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter 12
Politics and the Public
by Jerzy Kosinski

Being There

This 115-page novel was published in 1971, prior to the resignation of President Nixon, but certainly after the impact television had on the 1960 as well as subsequent presidential elections. As All the King's Men reflects the nature of politics prior to television, Being There gives us a glimpse of the role television may play in the selection of political leadership. The power structure of the old boys' network so active in King's Men is still in place, in that power brokers are still present and calling the shots. It is just that television provides for them a new outlet that might be more powerful than they. Kosinski makes no attempt at realism. This novel is pure satire from beginning to end, which may, in fact, make it all the more frightening. John W. Aldridge in Saturday Review writes:

Kosinski's vision is primarily philosophical. He is interested not in making a satirical indictment of modern society--although satire is an abrasive secondary feature of his point of view--nor in attempting to explore in the French manner the various possible ways of dramatizing individual consciousness. He is concerned rather with understanding the nature and meaning of the human condition, the relation quite simply of human values to the terms of existence in an essentially amoral and surely anarchistic universe. ( SR25)

Kosinski ventures into the ontological base of humanity in an attempt to find the true nature of his being. What he seems to find there does not elevate humans to any noticeable degree.

This story is told by an anonymous narrator who possesses complete


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Literature and Film as Modern Mythology


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 218

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?