A Wild Swan: And Other Tales Themes & Motifs

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Transformation

The theme of transformation is prevalent throughout the entire anthology, and is a metaphor for the capacity for anyone, real or fictional, to evolve throughout their life.

The most literal form of this theme can be found in "A Wild Swan," when the princes are all transformed into swans by a curse. The undoing of the spell—by turning them back into young –men—is traditionally when the cycle of returning order is complete. This is achieved except for one thing; one prince’s arm remains a swan's wing, and as he struggles to adapt to this new form it becomes clear that this change of –form—from "normal man" to "man with swan's wing"—is a permanent transformation. It becomes his "dreadful familiar. His burden, his comrade" (13), and is symbolic of a new kind of manhood, albeit one which he did not anticipate.

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This section contains 1,203 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Wild Swan: And Other Tales Study Guide
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