One True Thing Themes

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The dichotomization of women is one of the key themes of the novel "One True Thing". This conflict is first introduced on page 17 when Ellen laments that, "if you are different from a person everyone agrees is wonderful, it means you are somehow wrong." This lamentation gets to the heart of Ellen's relationship with her mother, Kate. As a teenager, Ellen felt superior to her mother because she never went to college and spent her days creating an elegant household. Ellen thought she had to become a woman much different than Kate if she wanted to earn respect and love, especially from her father, so she rebelled against the constraints of the conventional female role and became an outspoken, selfish, sexually remote, journalist who had no interest in learning how to darn socks or bake a pie. In this, Kate and Ellen embody that classic...

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This section contains 1,137 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the One True Thing Study Guide
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