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Reading in the Dark Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 38 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Reading in the Dark.
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The main theme of the novel, which manifests itself in various forms, can be regarded as betrayal. McIlhenny first betrayed the confidences of his IRA associates when he informed on them to the police, while the police in their turn betrayed Uncle Eddie when they set him up to be discovered as an informer by the boy's grandfather. These initial incidents were directly or indirectly linked to a series of events and consequences in which betrayal and disloyalty of various forms characterize the history of the boy's family over time and ultimately his own experiences.

The boy's father's relatives betrayed him and his siblings after the death of their parents and the disappearance of Eddie, mistreating the sisters who were sent to stay with them and stealing all the possessions from the siblings' family home. The mother also unwittingly betrayed her husband's family by tipping off McIlhenny, the...

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This section contains 1,007 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Reading in the Dark Study Guide
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