The Prince of Tides Themes & Symbolism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 59 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Prince of Tides.
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Secrets and Lies

The major thread that runs throughout this novel is the damaging effects of secrets and lies upon the family. The catastrophe without catharsis of the "family secret" Lila forces her children to keep becomes central to the story of mental imbalance and desperation. The already flawed Savannah is driven to self-destruction by having no opportunity to cleanse herself of the defilement she suffers during the rape. She is so bound to the promise never to speak of it and her mother's insistence that it "never happened" that Savannah has never breathed a word of it to her psychiatrist. Tom makes the decision to break the silence that brings forth a gusher of release both for himself and for his twin sister. Once that is accomplished, they are able to confront their feelings about Luke's death.

The innocent and enchanting fantasies Lila tells her small children...

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This section contains 1,042 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Prince of Tides Study Guide
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