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A Conversation with My Father Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 37 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Conversation with My Father.
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Art and Experience

The substance of the conversation between the daughter and her father concerns the way real life should be represented in fiction. The major conflict between the two resides in their different experiences of life and, therefore, different expectations for fiction. The father wishes his daughter would write stories like those of Guy de Maupassant and Anton Chekhov, nineteenth-century European writers whose works reflect more structured societies and whose characters struggle within those societies' limited opportunities. The father, as Paley explains in a note accompanying Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, represents her real father, a Russian who immigrated to the United States at the age of twenty. His experience leads him to desire and appropriate stories about the tragic events of "recognizable people." In an interview with Joan Lidoff published in Shenandoah, Paley states that her father "came from a world where there was no choice...

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This section contains 468 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Conversation with My Father Study Guide
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A Conversation with My Father from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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