The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas Themes

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Identity/Self-Image

By telling her own story through the persona of someone close to her, Stein implicitly suggests that a person's identity can only ever be provisionally known. She adopts Toklas's voice and draws on her memories for her ventriloquist's trick, effectively creating an identity that is part Toklas, part Stein. Experiments with point of view in literature and painting were popular during Stein's time, and the idea of objectivity was giving way to the notion that reality was subjective and plural. Stein experiments with point of view in other books as well, most notably, Three Lives.

Modernism

Stein's stream of consciousness narration, her use of repetition, her disregard for conventional punctuation, and her presentation of events in sometimes helter-skelter order mark her book as distinctly modern. Modernism in the arts emerged fully after World War I and was largely a response to changes in the world order wrought...

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This section contains 390 words
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