The Talented Mr. Ripley Study Questions & Topics for Discussion

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The problems associated with the formation of identity are central to The Talented Mr. Ripley. In the novel, Tom Ripley desires to be like Dickie Greenleaf, a longing that leads to murder. For Tom, class mobility is only a possibility once he is mistaken for another; Herbert Greenleaf thinks him to be "other" than he is. Tom then becomes "another" person when he is afforded the opportunity to recreate himself abroad. The issue of class is essential to understanding the novel because it is what provides the opportunities for characters like Dickie, Marge, and Freddie, while it denies Tom the ability to reconstruct his world. And since Tom cannot sustain Dickie's identity (once Dickie is "found out" for Freddie's murder), money becomes the most important gain for Tom's new life to continue without a hitch. Rethinking the significance of class distinctions in this novel forces us to examine...

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This section contains 418 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Talented Mr. Ripley Study Guide
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