Breathing Lessons Themes

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Maggie’s identity is fluid, tenuous and uncertain. She finds it very difficult throughout the novel to establish and identify her own personality and identity. She believes everyone else sees her as silly, bumbling, and impractical Maggie and she longs for someone to see her as efficient, intelligent, and capable Maggie. So throughout the novel she vacillates between these two types of behavior and two views of herself. Maggie makes it clear even in her childhood she was attempting to forge an identity that was the opposite of her strict, straight laced mother, but in doing so she believes she has become her father. In Maggie’s view of the old, she has only these two options and she vacillates between the two. When she is attempting to orchestrate the lives of others, she takes on her mother’s characteristics intelligent, controlling, and determined characteristics. When she feels...

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This section contains 1,122 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Breathing Lessons Study Guide
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