First Love: A Novel Symbols & Objects

Gwendoline Riley
This Study Guide consists of approximately 54 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of First Love.
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Children/Babies

Describing an adult as having childlike qualities is a symbol for immaturity and selfishness displayed by characters in this novel. It is not uncommon for infancy adjectives to be brought up in relation to immature behavior, but the immature behavior in this novel centers on self-indulgent and self-centered actions. The most obvious character related to self-indulgent behavior and infantile descriptions is Neve's father, Barry O'Donnell. Everything about Barry is childlike, from his enraged tantrums to his childish treatment of wait staff in restaurants. Even his physical stature is described as being "toddler-shaped" (40). Neve admits that, when her father got out of hand, she would regard him as a child that needed to be coddled, noting, "You smiled. You tried to meet him halfway, just as you might encourage a baby, and give all your warm attention to a baby, to get it to behave" (39). Barry...

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This section contains 1,949 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the First Love: A Novel Study Guide
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