The Portable Veblen Themes & Motifs

Elizabeth Mckenzie
This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Portable Veblen.
This section contains 2,439 words
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Consumerism and Materialism

The novel uses the themes of consumerism and materialism to explore and deconstruct mainstream ideas of success and happiness. Veblen Amundsen-Hovda adores Thorstein Veblen, the antimaterialist philosopher after whom she was named. Thorstein Veblen espoused ideals contrary to popular consumerist conventions, saying that much of human activity in the modern era appears to be governed by arbitrary rules and habits. Thorstein Veblen, as presented in the novel, saw consumerism as an expression and exercise of these conventions, and Veblen Amundsen-Hovda happily shares Thorstein Veblen’s skepticism of conventional methods of searching for happiness. Veblen does not place much value in money and only performs enough paid work to support herself. She spends the rest of her time in unpaid pursuits that she finds meaningful to her, such as volunteering as a translator for the Norwegian Diaspora Project. Through the happy and optimistic character of...

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This section contains 2,439 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Portable Veblen Study Guide
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