Ask the Dust Themes

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The pitiful human condition

This theme plays out not only in Arturo Bandini's story of himself and Camilla, but also in his descriptions of other characters and the general population in Los Angeles. Arturo sees people as lost, searching, empty and pathetic. During his more positive moments, he appreciates religion and patriotism and honesty, but his primarily dark view of the human condition is transparent throughout the story. Arturo is an astute observer of human nature. He sees the hypocrisy and self-deluded dishonesty that affects people, such as the deceased Mr. Hargraves who had a superiority complex, the damaged and manipulative Camilla, and pathetic Hellfrick. The people in Los Angeles are often disenfranchised, alienated and at times, zombie-like in Fante's description of the general population. Arturo, although at times lost in his own mind, is at least honest and tries to maintain his principles, as evidenced by his negative...

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This section contains 945 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ask the Dust Study Guide
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