What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank Themes & Motifs

Nathan Englander
This Study Guide consists of approximately 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank.
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Names, Appearances, and Identity

In this story, names and interpretations of appearances reflect how we shape our own identities and conceive of the identities of others. This aspect of the story is largely filtered through the narrator’s own identity, as he is the one choosing what to communicate to us, and how to do so.

Both names and outfits operate in fairly similar ways: they can be chosen to fit your own self-conception, as demonstrated by Mark and Lauren’s conscious change to Yerucham and Shoshana; they often contain shortcuts to some aspects of your identity; they tend to have long histories of meaning; and most complexly, they can be manipulated by others, rejected, or even deceptive. While there are important differences between names and outfits, they function alike enough in this story for them to be grouped together.

In terms of the power of names...

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This section contains 2,187 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank Study Guide
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