Full Circle Themes & Motifs

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Ego and Vanity

Throughout the story, Betton struggles with his own underlying ego, and the story thereby demonstrates how vanity may be a frequent barrier to equanimity. The narrative begins by establishing possible roots of vanity. In Betton’s case, his sense of ego appears to be directly tied to the substantial praise and notoriety that he received for his first novel. At first, Betton welcomes this approbation, and he feels affirmed by it. Despite Betton’s relative lack of literary ambition before, this praise compels him to seek further acclaim: “…one of the incentives…to his new work had been the desire to extend and perpetuate his popularity” (156). Thus, the narrative demonstrates how notoriety can have an intoxicating effect, and that it can disrupt a person’s sense of humility and groundedness. Previously, Betton had no desire to seek fame, but that desire has since become...

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This section contains 1,471 words
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Buy the Full Circle Study Guide
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