Swann's Way Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 33 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Swann's Way.
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Imagination vs Reality

The author contends that each person has a concept, a preconceived notion of someone or someplace they have heard of, that is changed when that someone is met in person or that someplace is encountered in reality. In this novel, the Narrator and Swann both perceive reality as an insult and great disappointment to what they had dreamed, whether it be a work of art, a play, a new-found love, or a destination. The Narrator does not necessarily adjust his preconception to match the reality, preferring to cling to his dream and make the dream a part of the reality. Both men prefer their original concept over truth. Swann originally believes Odette to be unattractive and undesirable until he notices a pose of hers that reminds him of a woman in a work of art. This image of Odette persists, surpassing his own actual experiences with...

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This section contains 716 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Swann's Way Study Guide
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Swann's Way from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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