Grew Up… the son of Jenny Fields, a staunch feminist who, as a nurse for the military, had sex with an unconscious, dying soldier. The result was baby Garp. Jenny raised Garp alone, and gave him an upbringing he would never forget.
Living… the life of a blooming writer. Garp becomes increasingly interested in writing fiction. While his mother begins writing her autobiography, he writes his first novella in Vienna. Garp is prepared to be a “struggling writer,” something that he feels has as many rewards as it does burdens. Or perhaps Garp just enjoys making himself somewhat miserable.
Profession… aspiring writer. Although he does find some success in his publications, he will never measure up to his mother’s success with her autobiography, which becomes hailed as a feminist manifesto. To make up for his financial deficits as a writer, he takes a job as a wrestling coach.
Interests… writing, wrestling, and sex. Garp becomes as obsessed with sex as he does with death. Constantly fantasizing about ways his loved ones might die, Garp finds himself fetishizing death quite similarly to the way he fetishizes sex.
Relationship Status… married to Helen. She is the daughter of a wrestling coach, and she becomes an English teacher to make up for Garp’s financial shortcomings. If they want to raise a family, at least one of them is going to have to bring home the bacon, so to speak.
Challenge… becoming a successful writer. This is his dream. Even after publishing novels, he still does not feel like a real writer. He’s constantly striving to overcome his previous work, to make something worth truly attaching his name to.
Personality… anxious and introverted. Garp is living most of his life inside his own head – far more than normal people. If he isn’t worrying about the lives of his family members, he’s considering the many ways he might fail in life. As much as he hates his anxiety, he can’t help but revel in his morbid neuroses. It’s his style.
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