The Adventures of Augie March Themes

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Education

The Adventures of Augie March purports to be a memoir spanning some twenty-five years. Education runs through it as a constant theme and for the early part of the novel presents the reader a quandary: how is Augie, who repeatedly claims to be unfit for academics, salt his text with such impressive chains of allusions to history, literature, philosophy, and religion? While a schoolboy, Augie is constantly reminded by Grandma Lausch that unless he buckles down and studies like his big brother Simon, he will be condemn himself to a life of common labor. Augie is too easily distracted by life in the neighborhood and only fitfully rises to his academic potential. Grandma prides herself on being an intellectual, rereading Anna Karenina and Eugene Onegin annually and bragging of having sent her grown sons to gymnasium. Her tyranny, however, vitiates any example she might set.

Simon by contrast...

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This section contains 1,703 words
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