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Bluets Themes & Motifs

Maggie Nelson
This Study Guide consists of approximately 73 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Bluets.
This section contains 3,955 words
(approx. 10 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Search for Meaning

The most important theme in the poem is the speaker’s search for meaning; in the near-nihilism of her depression, she wants concrete explanations for her emotions, her life, her purpose, and even for things she once thought were tangible, like the color blue. The incomprehensibility of all of these things is expressed throughout the poem in a motif on the lack of a comprehensive scientific explanation of color and vision. The speaker quotes the unsolved cases from Goethe’s Theory of Colours as early as Proposition 24. From that point forward, she routinely returns to the question of science’s failure to explain color and vision. She criticizes the cyanometer as an incomplete measuring tool for the color blue and challenges the guppy expert at her university until he concedes that biology cannot explain color either. This lack of scientific certainty troubles the...

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This section contains 3,955 words
(approx. 10 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bluets Study Guide
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