Too Late the Phalarope Themes

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In Too Late the Phalarope, Paton depicts morality as something that resides within and also as something that is imposed by external forces, such as church and government. Pieter's fall suggests that morality, when imposed on individuals by outside forces, is merely a façade. Despite Pieter's position in law enforcement, the external morality imposed by the law is inadequate to prevent him from breaking the very law he is sworn to uphold and enforce.

In contrast, Stephanie's sense of morality is wholly internal, directed only by her maternal drive to keep her child. To this end, she is comfortable brewing and selling illegal liquor, seducing Pieter, and later betraying him. She has no difficulty breaking the law forbidding sexual relations between white men and black women because she sees it as an opportunity to gain the favor of a powerful man. Her duty is to herself...

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This section contains 1,322 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
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Too Late the Phalarope from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.