The Child Themes & Motifs

Barton, Fiona
This Study Guide consists of approximately 96 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Child.
This section contains 4,449 words
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Broken Relationships Create Silence

The most predominant theme in The Child is Barton's continual assertion that discord or a break within a relationship results in both verbal and emotional silence. Throughout her work there is a constant reference to silence, either a sudden quiet that reverberates within a single moment or long standing absence of relational interaction. The silence is never portrayed as good or healthy, and it is only when truth and honesty are present is the silence abated.

The first instance of silence causes longing for young Emma as she rages against the lack of information she has concerning her father. As a child she and Jude never talked about Emma's dad. He was "the man we were not allowed to talk about" (64). Whenever she saw pictures of fathers in storybooks, she asked if they were her dad, but Jude always told her she did...

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This section contains 4,449 words
(approx. 12 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Child Study Guide
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