The Stone Diaries Themes

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That ordinary life is a worthy subject for a novel is a theme that has had its place in all of Shields's fiction. Even when surprising events occur in the novel, they are presented as accidents, and accidents happen to everyone. Daisy's first husband, for example, falls from a window to his death, perhaps startled by Daisy's sneeze. It is odd, but still somehow convincing. Shields explores the experiences and inner lives of unremarkable, unnoticed people with careful detail.

The Stone Diaries is a collection of almost mundane details: memories, dreams, gardening advice, letters, recipes, and many lists—grocery lists, a list of Daisy's illnesses, to-do lists, and the like. These accounts all make Daisy's world more convincing. The characters cook, hang laundry on the line to dry, weed the garden, clean house, laugh together, reminisce, keep secrets, economize. These incidentals aren't glossed over to get to the...

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This section contains 1,262 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Stone Diaries Study Guide
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