August: Osage County Themes & Motifs

Tracy Letts
This Study Guide consists of approximately 49 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of August.
This section contains 1,894 words
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Mother / Daughter Relationships

This is the play’s central theme, the defining element of much of its action and its primary characters. The development and evolution of the play’s core relationship between Violet and her oldest daughter Barbara is the primary manifestation of this theme, functioning on several levels: confrontational, confessional, and comparative. This last is most significant, in that dialogue, action, and the reactions of other characters define Violet and Barbara as being quite similar to each other (i.e. like mother, like daughter). This aspect of the mother-daughter relationship becomes, for Barbara at least, the most unpleasant aspect of her relationship with her mother and the one that eventually triggers significant change in her (Barbara).

There are three other main ways in which this theme manifests. The first is in Violet’s treatment of her other daughters, Ivy and Karen: she is manipulative and...

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This section contains 1,894 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the August: Osage County Study Guide
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