Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister Setting

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Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is set in Holland in the seventeenth century and begins when Margarethe and her two daughters arrive in the town of Haarlem during Holland's tulip mania. Maguire describes the surroundings in detail, using art and flowers to create a colorful backdrop, which allows readers to see the fallacy of appearances. Throughout the novel Maguire challenges our preoccupation with physical beauty, and he uses the setting to emphasize beauty's ephemeral nature. The town thrives on a commodity of fleeting beauty but all too soon the tulip market collapses.

The seventeenth-century setting during Holland's tulip craze left those who once relied on physical beauty to sustain them searching for something of substance that can endure the test of time.

Setting the story in seventeenth-century Holland puts the events in historical perspective. This is accomplished largely by bringing to the surface the emphasis on aestheticism prevalent during...

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This section contains 454 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister Study Guide
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