Mystic River Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 47 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Mystic River.
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Power of the Past

A primary theme of Mystic River is the power the past can have over people's lives. While the friendship between Sean, Dave, and Jimmy is not particularly deep, Dave's kidnapping and molestation tie them together for life. Both Sean and Jimmy are aware that their lives would have been very different had they gotten in the car that day. Dave does not understand why the kidnappers picked him and does not talk about what happened to him.

Sean has always been much more troubled by the kidnapping incident than Jimmy. It affects his thoughts, concerns, and motivations. Jimmy does reflect from time to time on what could have been, but he does not dwell on it as heavily as Sean and Dave do. Just after he identifies his daughter's body, Jimmy and his wife are giving Sean and Whitey initial information for their investigation. He...

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This section contains 1,281 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Mystic River Study Guide
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