Climbing Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 21 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Climbing.
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There is an old adage that the only constant in life is change. Clifton emphasizes the idea of change by describing the desires of her present self in relation to versions of her past and future selves. The present self is the struggling self, full of anxiety and dread, the one who questions the life she has led. These doubts are underscored in the litany of "maybe's" the speaker rattles off. The past self is the one of the youthful body, as "slim and possible as a boy's bone." This self, like the present one, is full of desire and a lust for life, with a "bowl . . . / burning to be filled." The future self is more enigmatic, ghostly. She "precedes" the speaker on the rope, "her dangling braids the color of rain," and she "passes the notch in the rope / marked Sixty." Such a description suggests a woman...

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This section contains 472 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Climbing Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Climbing from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.