The Kiss Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 13 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Kiss.
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Fantasy versus Reality

Carter uses juxtaposition between contradictory symbols in order to create an atmosphere of fantasy. One example of this is the “irises” (246) growing in the gutter. Gutters connote filth and squalor, while irises represent beauty. Therefore, the fact that something beautiful grows out of something filthy creates a contradiction. Another example is when Carter describes some flowers as “bubbles of blood” (246). Until this point in the story, flowers and scenery have been described as peaceful and beautiful. However, Carter now describes tulips using imagery of blood, which connotes violence.

The story's juxtapositions of positive and negative elements of life seem to assert the utility of fantasy as a way of reinterpreting life in one's own imagination. At the beginning of the story, Carter uses negative imagery to describe the summer, using words like “cholera” (245). However, she describes the spring as beautiful because the flowers douse...

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This section contains 846 words
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Buy The Kiss Study Guide
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