The Shadow Knows Themes & Social Concerns

This Study Guide consists of approximately 5 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Shadow Knows.
This section contains 431 words
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The Shadow Knows Summary & Study Guide Description

The Shadow Knows 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 Techniques/Literary Precedents on The Shadow Knows by Diane Johnson.

Preview of The Shadow Knows Summary:

Set in northern California, in the suburbs of Sacramento, The Shadow Knows deals with such universal themes and social concerns as race relations, especially between whites and blacks; relations between household help and the people who employ them; and the eternal triangle of husband-wife-mistress. Without pushing any special feminist agenda, Johnson is particularly concerned in this novel with the efforts of a divorced woman trying to look after her small children, earn an advanced degree, hang on to her lover, and keep her sanity.

Race relations come into focus through the relations between household help and their employers: Both social concerns are intertwined. Mrs. N. Hexam first employs Osella Barnes to help clean and cook and look after her four small children. Recently widowed, Osella is an enormous black woman still in her forties who had been Gavin Hexam's mammy long ago.

Osella takes...

This section contains 431 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Shadow Knows Short Guide
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The Shadow Knows from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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