The Centaur Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 23 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Centaur.
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Dualism

One of the major themes of the story is the tension between the physical and the mental parts of the self. Throughout the story, Saramago underscores how these two sides of the character compete with one another for control, as the animal half expresses simple needs such as thirst, while the human half expresses more complex desires and thoughts. The author sometimes even refers to each part of the centaur separately as “the horse” and “the man,” emphasizing how distinct they are. The human part of the centaur experiences great frustration as he is unable to fully realize his humanity until the very end of the story, after competing impulses in the centaur result in his falling to his death. A symbolic character, the centaur represents the human condition, as human beings continually struggle for reconciliation between the physical and mental parts of the self.

Loneliness and Isolation

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This section contains 540 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Centaur Study Guide
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