The Group Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 8 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Group.
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The Group Summary & Study Guide Description

The Group Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Literary Precedents on The Group by Mary McCarthy.

Preview of The Group Summary:

Against this background of changing mores McCarthy posits her themes — the eternal standards of right and reason, straightforwardness, goodheartedness, and natural responses in a world increasingly uncertain and affected.

These are not to be confused with mere undisciplined indulgence, as those who try too assiduously to be natural and "open," such as Norine Blake, whose affair with Harald parallels the breakup of his marriage, and whose left politics and then Margaret Mead-type naturalism is untempered with regard for the dignity and feelings of others.

Helena Davison, McCarthy's spokesperson, delivering a little lecture when Norine comes for advice about her affair with Harald, stands up for traditional virtues of courtesy and gentleness. Correct form should be preserved to save face and feelings, even when impulse is arrayed against it.

At the other extreme are those who, too repressed, prudish, or polite, are overly willing to be intimidated and...

This section contains 295 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The Group Short Guide
The Group from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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