The Pelican Bar Themes & Motifs

Karen Joy Fowler
This Study Guide consists of approximately 23 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Pelican Bar.
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Human Nature

The narrative often functions as an exploration of human nature through the lenses of kindness versus cruelty, and the figure of Mama Strong functions as a representation of humanity’s capacity for evil. Mama Strong is a consistently cruel and wholly evil figure in the story, but her motivations are never explicitly clear. She seems to be driven towards evil for evil’s sake, or possibly out of a desire to secure her own position as one of power and domination over others. When Norah first arrives at the facility, mama Strong says, “Now I am your mother. But not like your other mother. Two things different. One: I don’t love you. Two: when I tell you what to do, you do it” (4). These statements establish Mama Strong’s self-appointed position of authoritarianism, and her following actions demonstrate her fidelity towards cruelty and domination...

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This section contains 1,334 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Pelican Bar Study Guide
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