Problems Themes & Motifs

Jade Sharma
This Study Guide consists of approximately 41 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Problems.
This section contains 2,169 words
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The Body As Prison

The author uses Maya's struggles with body image to highlight the destructive side of what creating a standard of beauty can do. Throughout the novel, Maya is not only obsessed with her own body, but also with other women she thinks represent the ideal form of beauty. Her focus is primarily on people like Elizabeth and Sue, who have fairer skin than hers. Maya thinks they are more adept at attracting the kind of men she finds attractive. Maya's inability to not only reconcile, but to accept and promote her own body, leads to numerous attempts to morph her body into something that would be more pleasurable to the world. These attempts consist of self-sabotage, ranging from single servings of yogurt a day, and constant drug abuse, all in an attempt to slim down. Maya is beholden to her demons because she is...

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This section contains 2,169 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Problems Study Guide
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