The Umbrella Man Themes & Motifs

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Authority

Dahl explores the nature of the relationship between mother and daughter throughout this story, particularly through the lens of authoritative roles in this relationship. Dahl uses the narrative voice of the daughter to highlight what she identifies as authoritative behavior. Furthermore, Dahl uses dialogue and symbolism among other devices to explore the shift in the dynamics regarding authority in this specific mother-daughter relationship.

Dahl establishes the mother’s authority early in the story through the narrator’s persistent reference to her mother’s slew of maxims and lessons. For example, when the old man first introduces himself to the mother and daughter, the daughter recollects one of her mother’s sayings, in which the mother compares men to “boiled eggs” (661), to teach her daughter that men might seem trustworthy on the surface, but there could be something bad inside them. Furthermore, the daughter refers to “another...

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This section contains 1,283 words
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