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Lust Summary & Study Guide

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 Lust.
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Lust Summary & Study Guide Description

Lust Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Related Titles and a Free Quiz on Lust by Susan Minot.

Lust and Other Stories is a collection of 12 short stories with the common theme of male-female relationships. The characters in all of the stories contend with the problems caused by a failing or failed relationship where one partner, always the narrator or a primary character, is more heavily invested in the relationship than the other partner. While the other partner usually is not prominently featured in the story, his or her lack of interest in the relationship is always presented as a point of focus and contention in the narratives.

The stories have an intimate, personal feel. The characters are usually sympathetic, and the narrators are usually reliable. The characters and situations are always credible, and the language is precise and well crafted. The style of the collection fits the minimalist tradition, though the author eschews the term for the works. Most of the pieces in the collection lack many elements of traditional fiction, including, in some cases, character development, location description, and even plot development. Indeed, many of the pieces are best read as sketches or vignettes that convey a mood or tone rather than plot or character development. Some of the pieces are related in the panoramic method, some use a stream-of-consciousness presentation, and some are traditional narratives. The first- and third-person points of view are used.

Many of the stories lack plot closure in the traditional sense, but all of them include an adequate thematic closure. The 12 pieces are divided into three sections of four stories each. The first four pieces deal with relationships in the early stages, the second four stories focus on existing relationships in crisis, and the final four stories focus on the end or the aftermath of a failed relationship. The age progression of the characters is somewhat organized, also, in that the youngest character is presented in the first story, and the characters generally grow older throughout the remaining stories in the collection. The final piece in the collection serves as a comprehensive coda by re-enumerating many of the elements presented in earlier stories.

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