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The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 86 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.
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Themes

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.

Women's Rights

Stein describes her unconventional and lesbian relationship with Toklas as if there were nothing unusual about it. However, by presenting their partnership unapologetically and as entirely natural, Stein, intentionally or not, holds herself up as a model for what women can accomplish, both in the personal and professional sphere. The...

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This section contains 390 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas Study Guide
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The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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