Madeleine is Sleeping Themes

Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum
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 Madeleine is Sleeping.
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The novel centers on exploring the self, both individually and in relation to the wider community. An individual's self-perception is often very different from the community's perception of that individual, although each perception influences the other. Le Petomane's character (M. Pujol) is an example of the power of public perception in defining the self. Le Petomane is M. Pujol's stage name and in Pujol's view of himself, the fame associated with that name defines his greatest success in life. M. Pujol longs to return to the stage as Le Petomane, but is blocked in his ambition by society's perception of his act. Back when audiences were unsophisticated, they could appreciate Le Petomane. His star fell, however, because his success depended on the appreciation of a small-minded audience. As the audience's level of sophistication grew, Le Petomane's character remained the same. His failure to evolve as an individual...

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This section contains 1,382 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Madeleine is Sleeping Study Guide
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