The Progress of Love (short story) Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 25 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Progress of Love.
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Identity as Formed in Relation to Others

The narrative explores identity as being both reliant upon the influences of others and as acting in opposition to some of those influences, and thus the characters’ self-conceptions in “The Progress of Love” are largely defined by their relationships with the identities of those closest to them. For example, much of the narrative is concerned with Euphemia’s identity in opposition to the values and lifestyle choices of her parents. The crux of this divergence is found in Euphemia’s desire for a more cosmopolitan and more financially comfortable existence. When Euphemia’s parents forbid her from attending high school, her mother gives religious reasons to partially justify their decision. Euphemia states, “This was the first time I understood how God could become a real opponent” (223) in terms of Euphemia’s personal goals and desires. This divergence of religious perspective...

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This section contains 2,340 words
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Buy The Progress of Love (short story) Study Guide
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