The Albanian Virgin Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 31 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Albanian Virgin.
This section contains 662 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Albanian Virgin Study Guide

The Albanian Virgin Summary & Study Guide Description

The Albanian Virgin 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 Related Titles on The Albanian Virgin by Alice Munro.

The plot of The Albanian Virgin jumps back and forth between different points of view. The story begins with the character Lottar. Lottar's guide has been shot and killed and Lottar has been taken prisoner by the tribe that has killed the guide. During the attack, Lottar's horse had been scared and bucked. Lottar is thrown from the horse and injured. The tribe takes Lottar up to the mountains to their town, Matsia e madhe. Lottar is taken care of by Tima, one of the women in the tribe. A priest visits Lottar during her illness, and she attempts to communicate to the best of her abilities. The priest explains that the tribe members are not robbers as Lottar thought, but they were defending their family honor because the guide had killed a member of their tribe. Lottar asks the priest to either contact the British Consulate or go to the police. She does not understand that this will not happen.

After Lottar recovers from her illness, she is put to work with the other women and receives no special attention. She is treated like a member of the tribe and is taught to harvest tobacco, make fern beds for the tribe to sleep in at night, and to cook. She learns the way of the tribe in which the men and women are always separated except for at dinner and certain times during the night.

The point of view changes to the narrator, who remains unnamed throughout the story. The narrator is visiting a friend of hers, Charlotte, in the hospital after Charlotte has fallen ill. Charlotte is in St. Joseph's Hospital in Victoria, British Columbia with an unidentified illness. It turns out that the story of Lottar was created by Charlotte, who has hopes that it will be made into a movie. Charlotte explains that the story takes place in Northern Albania in a town called Matsia e madhe during the 1920s.

The story of Lottar continues. The tribe lives in a kula, which is a great big stone house with a stable and living quarter. The kula has a veranda that stretches all the way around. An older woman is always sitting on the veranda making clothing for the tribe. It is then that Lottar realizes that she does not want to leave the tribe. Desperate as she was in the beginning to return home, she has now grown comfortable in her place. One day, the women dress her up and shave her head. Lottar is confused until the priest arrives. He tells her that she has been sold to a Muslim man for money, and asks her if she wishes for this to happen. She says no, and the priest swears her in as a Virgin, warning her that she must never go with a man. After being sworn in as a virgin, Lottar is sent to live on her own.

Meanwhile, the narrator is having some success with her bookstore and gets invited to Charlotte's house for dinner. This takes place before the story of Lottar is created, as the narrator is just beginning to meet people in her bookstore and Charlotte is one of them. The narrator attends Charlotte's house for dinner and gets an insight into the woman and her husband. It is shortly after the dinner invitation that Charlotte is hospitalized and the narrator visits.

Lottar is rescued by the priest. As winter approaches, the priest takes her to Skodra, the nearest town He plans to take her to the Bishop's house because the Bishop will know what to do with her. When they arrive at the Bishop's house, the narrator is unaware that the British Consulate has been contacted and that arrangements are made for her to return home. She is unwilling to leave the priest and calls his name several times before seeing him on the dock as the boat pulls into the Trieste to take her home.

Read more from the Study Guide

This section contains 662 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Albanian Virgin Study Guide
The Albanian Virgin from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.