Live by Night: A Novel Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Live by Night: A Novel.
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Morality and Hypocrisy

The defining characteristic of this book's protagonist, Joe Coughlin, is his contempt for the established order. Throughout much of the book, he refers to himself as an outlaw, which he carefully differentiates from a gangster. He takes the philosophical position that wrongdoing is not confined to criminals, and that at least outlaws are not hypocritical about what they do. They do not pretend to follow the rules and then secretly break them, as do politicians, businessmen, policemen, clergy, and many others who purport to be on the righteous side of the law. Joe refers to himself and his cronies as people who "live by night," doing things that the careful masses who live by day and consider themselves to be law-abiding would never dare to do. He paints a romantic picture of himself as the feisty rebel, but as the novel progresses, he is inexorably drawn...

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This section contains 955 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Live by Night: A Novel Study Guide
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Live by Night: A Novel from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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