Bowlaway Themes & Motifs

Elizabeth McCracken
This Study Guide consists of approximately 61 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Bowlaway.
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Candlepin Bowling

Most notably, the theme of bowling creates an extended metaphor through which Candlepin bowling is the vehicle for the tenor of life experience. The narrator points out in the exposition that “our subject is love because our subject is bowling” (7). Here, the metaphor involves the seemingly unrequited love reflected in the ball approaching the pins, then striking them away. This scenario plays out within multiple relationships throughout the novel. Like a dance and thus relationships, bowling is an art that requires moving parts, skill, and the foresight that comes with educated analysis. More broadly, Candlepin reflects the culture of New England, and Massachusetts roots specifically. While the game is for entertainment, its abnormal difficulty is representative of Puritanical belief that no one is perfect enough to “look upon the face of God” (7). But like the people who engage in bowling, the use of the game...

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This section contains 2,433 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bowlaway Study Guide
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