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On Golden Pond Essay | Critical Essay #3

Ernest Thompson
This Study Guide consists of approximately 72 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of On Golden Pond.
This section contains 1,955 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay #3

Heims is a writer and teacher living in Paris. In this essay, he argues that On Golden Pond is an actors' play.

Whenever Norman Thayer, the eighty-year-old protagonist of On Golden Pond, speaks, he camouflages the expression of his thoughts and feelings using clever and evasive verbal tricks and riffs of language. These contrivances allow him simultaneously to express and to avoid confronting unpleasant realities, such as his disquiet at aging or his anxiety about death. Likewise, he can avoid making direct contact with other people, like his daughter—which he finds embarrassing. These verbalizations serve to distance him from his real emotions and to permit him to stand aloof and apparently unaffected, as if with an academic detachment—he is a retired college English professor—above and outside everything, offering wry commentary.

The behavior is so characteristic of him that it is impossible to know whether it...

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This section contains 1,955 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our On Golden Pond Study Guide
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On Golden Pond from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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