The Talented Mr. Ripley Themes

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Isolationism, a political term of the post "World War" climate, constitutes Tom Ripley's world. Isolated from his society in New York, Tom Ripley can only be a "fraud," an outsider who glimpses a world he wants to inhabit, and people he wants to be. As an American, he glimpses the realization of the "American Dream"—financial success and happiness—derived from the erasure of an old identity and construction of a new one. But this desire becomes dangerous, for the world that he escapes to is one marked by alienation. The expatriates living in Europe—Dickie, Marge, and Freddie—are all isolated from each other, and lacking identities save for their "flat" characterizations.

Amongst these elusive characters, Tom Ripley's spectral presence is in no way astonishing. What is shocking about Tom Ripley is the way in which he mirrors those around him—in an...

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This section contains 812 words
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