The Days of Abandonment Themes & Motifs

Elena Ferrante
This Study Guide consists of approximately 49 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Days of Abandonment.
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The Self

The novel suggests that "the self" is an ever-changing entity over which an individual has little control, as it is influenced by circumstance and unpredictable events. Mario states he needs to leave his marriage because of his “abandoned sense of self.” This quote suggests that Mario has departed with or has been torn away from the identity he has coming into the marriage. Presumably, this is the identity of a family man in need of children, a stable home, a dog and a wife. Losing this, he implies, drives him to do the unthinkable: break a commitment to his loved ones, inflicting damage to everyone involved, except himself.

With Olga, however, abandoning her sense of self is precisely what she needs. At the open of the novel she is clearly ambivalent about her identity. As an aspiring author growing up, she wants to create heroines...

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This section contains 1,541 words
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Buy The Days of Abandonment Study Guide
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