Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay Symbols & Objects

Elena Ferrante
This Study Guide consists of approximately 74 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay.
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Sex

In Ferrante's novels, sex invariably leads to strife and difficulty. The sexual encounters that she details in her novels--Lila and Nino, Lila and Stefano, Elena and Antonio, Elena and Pietro--all result in a dramatic end to the relationship, a beating, or a mental breakdown. Every situation is related to a sense of loss and regret. Elena even says at one point, "Marriage takes all of the humanity out of coitus."

The only examples of successful relationships in these pages are Lila and Enzo, whose sexual relations are not mentioned or detailed at all.

Brutality

Brutality is the means these characters use to try to exert some control over their chaotic lives. When the reader witnesses so many acts of violence--between married people, between employers and employees, and in the simple streets of the city--it is plain how different life was in Ferrante's time and place. There...

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This section contains 990 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay Study Guide
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