Alternate Side Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 51 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Alternate Side.
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Marriage and Incompatibility

The author uses this theme to explore the ways in which long term relationships evolve (and dissolve), and the gender roles and expectations that can lead to stress and disharmony. When the novel begins, Nora and Charlie's marriage is already in a precarious position. Nora explains that “Their marriage had become like the AA prayer: 'God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change'” (15). While it may seem counter-intuitive, the fact that Nora and Charlie rarely quarrel is a sign that their relationship is in trouble. Rather than talking about their differences and working towards a solution that is acceptable to both, they do their best to simply ignore them. Their disagreement about the culpability of Jack Fisk after the assault opens the floodgates of discord and everything they have been suppressing, the petty annoyances and the larger issues of incompatibility...

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This section contains 2,734 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Alternate Side Study Guide
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