Among the Ten Thousand Things Themes & Motifs

Julia Pierpont
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Infidelity and Sex

The author uses the theme of infidelity and sex to examine how the immediacy of physical gratification complicates the development of intimacy.

From the outset of the novel, the mistress sends the letter and box to Deb. Because the mistress is hurt by how her affair ended with Jack, she is looking for some type of physical release to mitigate her feelings. While the reader does not get much insight into her character, it is reasonable to examine her behavior through the lens of someone hurting and reaching out. The mistress may be reaching out in a way that hurts others, but she may also want Deb to know who her husband is. That is not to suggest some kind of solidarity between the women, but rather to demonstrate that how she lacks any other outlet.

The affair is the most obvious use of...

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This section contains 2,465 words
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Buy the Among the Ten Thousand Things Study Guide
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