The Dollmaker Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 74 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Dollmaker.
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Themes

Several interrelated themes give The Dollmaker a rich complexity that engages readers' imaginations and stimulates their social awareness. As Arnow dramatizes the experiences of the Nevels family, she presents an inverted version of the classic story about "the American Dream" of promise, possibility, and opportunity for all who are willing to work hard. Gertie, in fact, allows herself to be dissuaded from buying a farm in Kentucky and convinced into following her husband to Detroit because she is led to believe that there her family will be assured of employment, adequate housing, and education for the children. But in Detroit, her search for a better life and a new prosperity soon becomes a bitter struggle for mere survival as she grapples with a variety of overwhelmingly negative social, economic, and political forces.

The contrast Arnow draws between Gertie's Kentucky homeland and her new surroundings in Detroit develops the...

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This section contains 1,485 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Dollmaker Study Guide
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