The task of Jewish novelists, Roth once said, is to help the Jew in a new world to imagine what he is and is not, and what he must do and must not. This is the function of Roth`s hero Portnoy, a second .generation Jewish immigrant in secularized America. The traditional `Jewish Self` is imposed on Portnoy by his parents, while from his Gentile friends and culture he derives a conflicting `Gentile Self` Torn between these two selves, he contrives a way of protesting the control of his family even as he remains a "nice Jewish boy" to them. He finds escape through masturbation and sexual indulgence, yet he cannot escape the haunting Superego which his mother has instilled in him. He becomes trapped in a cycle of guilt: the more guilty he feels, the greater his frustration, and the greater his frustration, the more vehemently he must escape into obscenity and promiscuity. Portnoy`s iconoclasm and sexual indulgence almost always involve a reevaluation of what he has resisted. He not only becomes an advocate of his Jewish heritage, but even thinks that to conquer Gentile women is to conquer America and to gain revenge for the Gentiles` maltreatment of Jews. Finally he returns from the New World to the Promised Land, the land of the Chosen, where he feels at home, but when he tries to have intercourse with Jewish women he finds himself impotent, which problem he never had with Gentile women. To the Jews in the land he has already become a hedonistic, Americanized Gentile. That is, he is their Goy and they are his unapproachable Jews. Portnoy`s impotence seems to imply that his `Gentile Self` cannot conquer his `Jewish Self`. Portnoy is a transitary character who cannot accomodate either the Jewish or the Gentile worl. So it doesn`t seem that Roth suggest in this novel a definite idea of what a Jew in America is and what he must do. But only through these conflicts Jews will discover one mode of survival in this new world adapted from the traditional Jewish wisdom, a product of their long history of oppression and assimilation, and it may provide a clue for the salvation of modern men who find themselves in much the same predicaments as Jews have experienced in their history of survival.