American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land Themes

Monica Hesse
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Romantic Love

Through her discussion of the relationship between Tonya and Charlie, Hesse paints a picture that what may seem like true love to one person could be entirely unrequited on the other side. She consistently focuses on Charlie’s side of the story before capturing Tonya’s point of view in each new development of their relationship. Even on the first page of the book, she captures the essence of the relationship in the simplest way, calling it “the kind of love that is vaguely crazy and then completely crazy and then collapses in on itself” (1). Though this focus on Charlie’s side of the story is largely due to his willingness to be interviewed compared to Tonya’s cold refusal, the events that occurred within their relationship all point to one-sided love.

At the beginning of their relationship, every detail of their time together seems to be...

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This section contains 2,155 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land Study Guide
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