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The Topeka School Themes & Motifs

Ben Lerner
This Study Guide consists of approximately 38 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Topeka School.
This section contains 2,249 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
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Language and Communication

The concepts of language and communication recur frequently throughout the novel, and the story explores these concepts to show how specific misuses of language lead to problematic breakdowns in interpersonal communication. The novel begins developing these ideas in the first chapter, specifically between the characters of Adam and Amber. When they are on a boat together, Amber quietly swims away when Adam becomes distracted by his own rambling: “For a long time he had been speaking” (7). Soon after, Amber likens this incident to a time when she snuck unnoticed out of a room while her self-absorbed stepfather was speaking at length. The novel uses these scenes to demonstrate how, although speech is a tool of communication, communication may break down if speech is used solely as a form of indulgent self-expression and is not coupled with conscious, reciprocal listening.

In correlation, the novel uses...

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This section contains 2,249 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Topeka School Study Guide
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