The Muralist Themes & Motifs

B. A. Shapiro
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Family History, Loss, and Legacy

Family history is a central element connecting the narratives of Danielle and her great-aunt: they are united by loss as a result of the Holocaust, and both are part of the biological legacy that allows their deceased family members to live on. The secrecy surrounding Benoit family history drives the element of mystery in the novel. It motivates Danielle to return to the country of her ancestors, where she experiences Alizée's loss. In a life-altering trip to France, Danielle furthers the legacy of her deceased family members by reconnecting two branches of her familial line.

In 1946, Alizée internalizes the words of her great-aunt on preserving the legacy of their family through her own survival; Alizée vows for her deceased family to live on through her descendants, in her memories, and through her children's awareness of their heritage and her...

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This section contains 2,707 words
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Buy The Muralist Study Guide
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