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Private Lives 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 Private Lives.
This section contains 126 words
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Themes

Public vs. Private Life

As a "comedy of manners," Private Lives deals with the conventions and social rituals by which a person presents their "public" self to the world—and with the "private" passions and motivations that lie beneath the veneer of etiquette and respectability. The title comes from a speech Amanda makes early in the first Act. "I think very few people are completely normal, deep down in their private lives," she muses. "It all depends on a combination of circumstances;" given the right conditions, "there's no knowing what one mightn't do." She soon illustrates the point by impulsively running off with Elyot, in contradiction to law, social taboo, and the marriage vows she has just taken—yet m accordance with her personal needs and private desires.

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This section contains 126 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Private Lives Study Guide
Copyrights
Private Lives 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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