The Sea, the Sea Topics for Discussion

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Several important symbols are introduced in the Prehistory - the mirror, the ugly vase, the house with its inner room, and the sea itself. Discuss each symbol in relationship to the experience of self-exploration and discovery Charles experiences over the course of the book.

Relate the image of the serpent to uncomfortable truths about himself that Charles is forced to face. What are those truths? Who challenges him? What effect do those challenges have on him? How is his perspective changed, or not changed?

Compare each of the more important women in Charles' life (Lizzie, Clement, Rosina) to Hartley. What did Charles need and/or receive from them that he did not receive from Hartley? What qualities does the Hartley of Charles' memory have that made fulfilling relationships with the other women impossible? Why did Charles, as he himself says, "never [see] her as...

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This section contains 374 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Sea, the Sea Study Guide
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