Anne Tyler Writing Styles in Average Waves in Unprotected Waters

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Setting

Throughout "Average Waves in Unprotected Waters," the settings of different scenes augment the plot by mirroring Bet's feelings. Bet Blevins's apartment is crumbling and provides the "feeling of too many lives layered over other lives, like the layers of brownish wallpaper." The description of the place mirrors Bet's feelings of suffocation and loneliness. Though there are "too many lives," she is living hers alone and must act alone.

Later, in the train, the movement of the engine lulls Arnold and provides Bet with an opportunity to travel back into her memory. The journey motif occurs on two levels, on a physical level as Bet and Arnold travel to Parkinsville, and on a more symbolic level as Bet travels back in her own memory to find answers about herself and her life. When they arrive at the state hospital, everything is sterile and white and the story states that...

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This section contains 749 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Average Waves in Unprotected Waters Study Guide
Copyrights
Short Stories for Students
Average Waves in Unprotected Waters from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.