A House Like a Lotus Themes

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Complexity

The issue of personal complexity arises so often not only in the narrative content of House Like a Lotus but also in its characters' dialogue that it imposes itself quite clearly as one of the novel's major themes. Again and again, Polly is advised to stop idealizing Max and to regard her in her full human complexity. Her father, Sandy, and ultimately Polly herself enjoin this lesson upon L'Engle's precocious main character. The fact that Max became intoxicated in a moment of physical pain and existential desperation and, in her intoxication made a sexual advance on Polly seems to be an act entirely attributable to her personal complexity in the eyes of L'Engle's characters and, presumably, in L'Engle's own opinion. This is not to say that L'Engle and her characters do not pass judgment on Max's actions; rather, Max is supposed to be so clearly and palpably a...

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This section contains 1,348 words
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Buy the A House Like a Lotus Study Guide
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