Average Waves in Unprotected Waters Themes

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Memory plays an important role in almost all of Tyler's fiction. In "Average Waves in Unprotected Waters," memory is a disconnecting as well as a connecting force, both allowing characters to make discoveries about themselves and serving as a means of alienation. The first acknowledgment of memory, or lack of memory, occurs when Mrs. Puckett gives Bet cookies for Arnold. The boy passes the older woman without acknowledging her. He does not seem to know her or have a memory of her. Bet has worried over Arnold's lack of memory for objects, but his inability to recognize the woman who baby-sat him from birth irritates her. Later, on the train, the act of remembering is an act of selfrealization for Bet. As she remembers her childhood and marriage, she learns about herself and her ability to endure. Parts of her memory are idealized. She decides that "her old...

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This section contains 875 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Average Waves in Unprotected Waters Study Guide
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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.