On Golden Pond Themes

Ernest Thompson
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Early in the play, Norman starts making references to his own mortality in jokes and offhand comments. He talks about living on borrowed time and preparing to celebrate his last birthday. In one way, he seems to have a healthy attitude about his mortality, but, in another, his incessant joking makes one wonder whether he is trying too hard to maintain that facade. Cleaning the living room, Ethel finds that her old doll, Elmer, has fallen into the fireplace. Because it is a sentimental item for her, she is sad to find it in such a place, but Norman speculates that Elmer threw himself into the fireplace. He then says that when it is time for him to die, Ethel should prop him up on the mantel so that he can do what Elmer did. Ethel tries to get Norman to stop, but he is having too...

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This section contains 2,013 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the On Golden Pond Study Guide
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