Oscar and Lucinda

What are the motifs in Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey?

Asked by
Last updated by Cat
1 Answers
Log in to answer

Feminism is a recurring idea in the story. Lucinda Leplastrier is a terrific voice for feminism, despite her portrayal as a satirically comic figure. Most of the satire involving her character is not aimed at her. It rather takes advantage of the odd juxtaposition between her often sensible views and society's absurd requirements of women. She is viewed as a fallen, disgraced woman by society, and yet her behavior, with the notable exception of her gambling problem, would be considered chaste and proper by any reasonable society. The 1800's were not kind to women, and many of society's petty complaints against her are specific to that era. The heavy-handed rules that women were forced to follow in those days deserve to be revisited in light of today's more liberated views. The author makes the point that history reveals the absurdity of that era's chauvinism, just as it will eventually reveal the absurdity of today's chauvinism, which we have yet, as a society, to recognize as ludicrous.