Herzog By Saul Bellow Character Analysis Ramona Donsell

Herzog's latest mistress is from Buenos Aires and is a beautiful, exotic female who devotes herself to sensual experiences as a means of elevating the spirit from its lethargy. Ramona has made a religion of sex. Like Sono Oguki and other women in Herzog's life after his divorce, she provides a physical relief and escape from too much suffering and too much thinking. She clearly perceives Herzog's need to prove his manhood, and she teaches him that he can still be virile. But, most of all, Ramona demonstrates that philosophical speculation is not the only way to comprehend human nature. With her body, her good cooking, and her sympathy, she establishes for Herzog a new sense of self-confidence.

Ramona's function is to fulfill a sensual need in the hero's life; she provides an asylum from reality. Although she wants to marry him, she does not seek to dominate Herzog as Madeleine did. When she does dominate him, as in the seduction scene, it is to satisfy his ego, not her own. Her life view is, for the hero, more preferable than the romantic egotism of Madeleine and Valentine, the materialism of his brothers, the cold pragmatism of his lawyers, and the abstract theories of philosophers whom he studies. She shows Herzog that the spirit can be renewed through the flesh. Through Ramona, Herzog is able to restore to some extent the balance of his character.

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