American Dirt Themes & Motifs

Jeanine Cummins
This Study Guide consists of approximately 55 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of American Dirt.
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Motherhood

The motif of motherhood courses throughout the work with the most prominent thread being Lydia’s dauntless commitment to her son Luca. From the onset of the work, Luca drives Lydia into action. She puts her duty as a protector above all else despite the inherent risks of adopting the life of a migrant. She frequently divides her life into before and after motherhood. When watching the children sleep, she recalls a time when she could “slip into weariness like a warm bath” (154). This habit eludes her now that she is a mother. Now her “maternal fear” serves to “spark caution in her soul” as she has a duty to Luca (154). This duty often interferes with sleep as she watches over him.

Despite her young age, Soledad acts as a mother figure to Rebeca. She, too, risks the terror of the migrating in an effort to...

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This section contains 2,085 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the American Dirt Study Guide
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