Surfacing Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 37 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Surfacing.
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Reality vs. Fantasy

One of the driving mechanisms of the novel is the juxtaposition of what is real and what is false. The deceptions that the narrator, as well as the other characters, invoke indicate that they are avoiding the pain of reality by constructing their own version of the truth. This finally comes full circle when the narrator meets herself and the truth about her 'husband' and the abortion come to light. She has so deceived herself that she has constructed the story that she had been married, gave birth to a child, then divorced her husband, leaving the child with him. The reality, of course, was darker. She met and had an affair with a married man, a writing teacher, who got her pregnant and then demanded that she have an abortion.

The Power of Memories

The narrator begins to untangle her own self identity through her...

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This section contains 904 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Surfacing Study Guide
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