Harmless Like You Themes & Motifs

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
This Study Guide consists of approximately 51 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Harmless Like You.
This section contains 2,724 words
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Hunger/The Nothing

The author uses the theme of hunger (literal and metaphorical) as a means of representing Yuki's loneliness and increasing lack of fulfillment as the novel unfolds. The theme is first introduced through Yuki's friendship with Odile. Odile has an eating disorder, and Yuki tries to emulate her. In the chapter titled “Goethite Ochre,” Yuki asks herself, “What was a greater symbol of faith than starvation?” and goes on to compare herself to a fasting saint and Buddha (58). Odile is Yuki's salvation from total loneliness, and Yuki worships her like she is a god. Shortly thereafter, when Yuki asks a visibly upset Odile what happened at her photo shoot, Odile responds “Nothing happened” and from there, “Nothing” becomes a shorthand term for the hunger and loneliness that haunts Yuki wherever she goes and whoever she is with (65). When she briefly moves in with the copywriters...

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This section contains 2,724 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Harmless Like You Study Guide
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