My Year of Rest and Relaxation Themes & Motifs

Ottessa Moshfegh
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Repression

The author uses this theme to demonstrate the narrator's inability to understand her feelings and express her despair in a healthy way. The narrator claims she is not depressed and that she is not grieving for her parents, however she behaves in an increasingly reckless manner that indicates a severe mental imbalance. Her intention to sleep away an entire year of her life by abusing prescription medication is not a mission any sane person would undertake. In fact, it would be reasonable to say that the narrator has a suicidal death wish at this time.

The narrator tells the reader that she took this medication “when I suspected I was sad” or “when I suspected I was lonely” (26), phrasing that indicates she is not remotely in touch with her emotions. After making the decision to sleep for a year, she explains, “Sleep felt productive. Something was...

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This section contains 2,686 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the My Year of Rest and Relaxation Study Guide
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