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Breathing Lessons Essay | Critical Essay #1

This Study Guide consists of approximately 93 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Breathing Lessons.
This section contains 1,960 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay #1

Tabitha McIntosh-Byrd is a doctoral candidate and English literature instructor at the University of Pennsylvania. In the following essay, she analyzes the use of formal, biological, and "game" narratives of time in Anne Tyler's Breathing Lessons.

When Maggie Moran hears the question, "What Makes an Ideal Marriage?" on the radio, it causes her to crash her car. This question recurs throughout the novel, and is asked and answered by multiple characters at key stages of the day. It also brings together the novel's central imagery and motifs. The car is the "vehicle" through which both the plot and the Morans' marriage will be propelled - a literal mode of travel and a metaphoric representation of life itself. Maggie's relationship to time, odometers, and topography mirrors her personal journey to an ambiguous destination, while Ira's obsession with speed and efficiency works in an opposite, though equally revelatory, manner. In...

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This section contains 1,960 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Breathing Lessons Study Guide
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Breathing Lessons from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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