How to Become a Writer Themes & Motifs

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Purpose and Identity

The story’s overall narrative examines the intertwined nature of searching for identity and searching for purpose, as Francie’s struggle to identify her purpose in life is portrayed as directly connected to her struggle to clearly conceive of her own personal identity. The narrative begins establishing this dynamic from the very first sentence of the story: “First, try to be something, anything, else” (119). The diction of this statement implies a direct correlation between doing and being, or, in other words, between following a path of action and forming an identity. Thus, throughout the story, Francie’s struggle for purpose and struggle for identity are portrayed as essentially the same. The narrative does not necessarily endorse or decry this dynamic, but the story specifically emphasizes the existence of this dynamic, thereby provoking the reader to critically examine its faults and/or merits.

The narrative...

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This section contains 1,319 words
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