Elizabeth Costello Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Elizabeth Costello.
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Gender

The author uses the character Elizabeth Costello to demonstrate how women authors must work harder to be perceived as important writers in the world of literature and not important only in the world of women authors. This is a struggle that hovers over Elizabeth at all times. She wants to be considered relevant and revered in the literary community. Her desire to be part of the overall conversation is explicitly detailed by her son John when he is with Susan Moebius. He asks Susan a question about her perception of his mother's career: “Don’t’ you think that is what she has been doing all her life: measuring herself against the masters? (26).

The House on Eccles Street, Elizabeth's most famous novel, is most likely in contention during John's conversation with Susan. The novel develops the character of Marion Bloom, who is the wife of Leopold Bloom...

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This section contains 1,893 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Elizabeth Costello Study Guide
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