What I Have Been Doing Lately Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of What I Have Been Doing Lately.
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Reality vs. Fantasy

One of the most noticeable thematic elements in "What I Have Been Doing Lately" is that of reality versus fantasy. The narration begins with the narrator in bed, which perhaps indicates that the story is a fantastical dream. Indeed, it contains many elements that support such an interpretation, including a landscape that changes as the narrator passes through it and the detail that years passed as the narrator waited on the banks of the body of water. The dreamlike quality of this story has been noticed by many of its reviewers.

Mother

Mothers figure prominently in Kincaid's fiction, including "What I Have Been Doing Lately." There are several direct references to the narrator's mother within the text of the story. The narrator recounts that when the figure emerged from the horizon, she was sure it was her mother. Later in the story, she expressed the wish...

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This section contains 448 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the What I Have Been Doing Lately Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
What I Have Been Doing Lately from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.