Eileen Themes & Motifs

Ottessa Moshfegh
This Study Guide consists of approximately 53 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Eileen.
This section contains 1,557 words
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Religion as Power

Throughout the novel, religion is used as a tool to enforce societal conventions and prop up an image of normalcy in a small New England town such as X-ville. Eileen's father uses religion to discriminate against his neighbors, claiming that they are duplicitous because they are Lutheran while he is Catholic. Despite his alcoholism, Mr. Dunlop makes sure to attend mass every Sunday, keeping up appearances in a town where people know of his behavior but never confront him about it. He is allowed to rage against his daughter and stew in his own depravity as long as he keeps up the appearance of going to church every Sunday for Mass. Eileen's Aunt Ruth uses her religious nature as a means of self-righteousness any time she enters the Dunlop home, judging Eileen for her uncleanliness.

Religion is used at Moorehead to establish control over...

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This section contains 1,557 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Eileen Study Guide
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