The Doorbell Rang Themes & Symbolism

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 The Doorbell Rang.
This section contains 489 words
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The dominant theme of The Doorbell Rang is that the FBI has become the enemy. Stout does not question the need for such an agency, or call for its abolition. As he repeats throughout, however, the Bureau seems to have lost sight of its purpose and blurred its ideals. Every operation it carries out in the novel is for its own defense as an institution; it persecutes people whose only crime is daring to criticize the FBI. Federal agents tail Rachel Bruner and her associates, bug their homes and workplaces, tap their telephones, and interrogate anyone who will answer. Archie sees the purpose of all this at once: "They're not just riding her; they're after something that would really hurt, and that would take a lot of sting out of the book." The Bureau gets involved in the murder of Morris Althaus because three agents have been sent...

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This section contains 489 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Doorbell Rang Study Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The Doorbell Rang from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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