Big Fish Themes & Motifs

Daniel Wallace
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Personal Mythmaking

The novel presents the idea of personal mythmaking as a way of finding and heightening meaning in one’s life and relationships, specifically by creating parallels between personal experiences and the gravity of cultural myths in general. This dynamic is first established in the novel’s prologue. William recalls watching his father silently remember events from his life. William states in narration, “at that moment he turned into a weird creature, wild, concurrently young and old, dying and newborn. My father became a myth” (2). In this instance, this reference to the idea of myth evokes the idea that parents often occupy positions of mythical greatness and mystery in the view of their children. Thus, early in the novel, the narrative subtly examines how personal significance can translate to personal mythmaking. To a stranger, Edward Bloom may simply be an ordinary man, but to his son...

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This section contains 2,166 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Big Fish Study Guide
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