Chicago: A Novel Themes & Motifs

Doyle, Brian
This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Chicago.
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Civic Identity

During the protagonist’s time in Chicago, he is highly absorbed by the question of defining Chicago’s civic identity; this struggle functions as an exploration of civic identity in general and how one defines the essence of specific urban centers. Firstly, it is important to note that when the protagonist first moves to Chicago, he is drawn in part by the fact that Chicago already has a well-known identity as a city: “I moved to Chicago, that rough and burly city in the middle of America, that middle knuckle in our national fist…I wanted to be as near the lake as possible, for Lake Michigan is not lake at all but a tremendous inland sea” (1). He is drawn to the city due to its romanticized identity as a place where one can experience both the beauty and authentic roughness of American life. The...

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This section contains 2,248 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Chicago: A Novel Study Guide
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