War and Turpentine Themes & Motifs

Stefan Hertmans
This Study Guide consists of approximately 47 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of War and Turpentine.
This section contains 1,340 words
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Art as a Conduit of Emotion

Throughout the novel, art is used as device that holds and transmits memory over time, either as something that sparks an old memory, or as an image that helps one person help understand the experiences and emotions of another. The various paintings that held importance for Urbain are used by his grandson, the narrator, to help understand the man, hoping that the images can spark the same emotions in him that they did for his grandfather. Eventually he is able to uncover the hidden meaning behind Urbain's version of the Rokeby Venus, as the older man had preserved the love for his lost Maria in the mirror of the painting, a forbidden act that he kept secret from everyone around him, especially his wife.

Art also serves as a means of intimacy in the manner in which it brings together Urbain...

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This section contains 1,340 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the War and Turpentine Study Guide
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