Jemima J.: A Novel About Ugly Ducklings and Swans Themes
Weight and Society
One of the primary themes in the novel is that of how society views those who are thin, and those who are heavy. In the novel, Jemima is a heavy woman who is genuinely ignored by most of the people in her life, or she is treated as an invisible person. Her editor keeps finding reasons not to promote her, her roommates treat her almost as a maid, and even her mother is ashamed of her, constantly belittling her and asking about her weight. Her two friends, Ben and Geraldine, treat her well, but still seem to view her differently than others. Jemima herself even views herself as ugly, as a result of her weight. She perceives that everyone around her feels either pity or revulsion when they see her.
When Jemima becomes thin, however, things change. Her editor is willing to promote her,...