The Great Frustration Themes & Motifs

Seth Fried
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Frustration and Desire

Fried argues that desire leads to frustration. In “Life in the Harem”, he fleshes out this argument, using the king’s and the narrator’s desire to highlight the difficulty they experience from having their undefined wants unmet. The narrator, while looking out the window and noting “something deeply suggestive about the world”, is “lulled into a sort of dreaminess” (44). This results in him releasing an audible moan. The king, after witnessing the narrator moan, forces the narrator into the harem. The tasks the narrator must perform for him always center around this moan. The narrator understands what drove the king to include him in the harem. He believes the king was enthralled by his moan as it represented a pure release after a build up of desire. This has been a problem for the king. Being able to have access to everything he...

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This section contains 2,136 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Great Frustration Study Guide
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