The Story of the Lost Child Themes & Motifs

Elena Ferrante
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Making and Unmaking

The plight of women has been a recurrent theme in all of the Neapolitan novels. All of the stories to this point have explored how difficult it is for women to have the same opportunities and successes as men, particularly in the time and place where the plot is set. Furthermore, the men in these stories have had excessive amounts of freedom in comparison to the female characters: to work how they wish, to sleep with whom they wish and when, and to spend whatever money they desire.

In the fourth of the Neapolitan novels, however, Ferrante draws a finer line than merely claiming women have less freedom and opportunity than men. In this plot specifically she claims that men define women--which is the topic of Elena's second book and is borne out in the last installment: Nino keeps various women in metaphorical boxes...

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This section contains 1,428 words
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Buy The Story of the Lost Child Study Guide
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