*Ph.D. Scholar, Department of English,
Annamalai University, Chidhambaram,
Dr. A. Selvaraj**
Department of English,
Annamalai University, Chidhambaram
The purpose of this study is to discuss how John Barth depicts the experience of emptiness in the post American world. In The End of the Road the characters grapple with their emotional sensitivity, struggle for identity, feel self defeated and end up being victims of cosmic retribution. Barth uses the metaphor of the “road”, in The End of the Road to emphasis the shallow movements from one kind of psychological terminus to another and the writer succeeds in examine the protagonist’s difficulties in coming terms with his own existence, his past, his future, his values, and his world. No doubt the characters try to seek refuge in the abstractions of mythotherapy for their pathological diseases, realising it may cure the ambivalent and fluid nature of their identity which they struggle to come to terms with. The gritty love triangle, the Existentialist overtones, and the metaphor that life is a drama are the major highlights of this novel.
Key words: Struggle for identity, emotional inability, mental depression, mythotherapy, cosmopsis