An Elephant in the Garden Themes & Motifs

Michael Morpurgo
This Study Guide consists of approximately 46 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of An Elephant in the Garden.
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Empathy vs. Evil

The novel explores a range of human ideas and actions, representing the spectrum of moral approaches from pure evil to pure moral good. The central aspect of this comparison is the contrast between the evil of World War II and the pure goodness exhibited by Marlene. In comparison, the other characters in the novel commit actions that are morally ambiguous but have heroic objectives.

The evil perpetrated by the Nazi regime continually shadows the plot, functioning as a backdrop onto which all of the other event are projected. This core evil, and the immense violence of World War II, generate a bleak initial picture of human nature. Thus, evil functions on a larger level than the plot itself – it is the condition of the novel.

However, although the characters are consistently impacted by the evil around them, they refuse to allow their own personalities...

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This section contains 2,093 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the An Elephant in the Garden Study Guide
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