Theme of a Story

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Nicole Banley
ENG 125
David Schonfeld
04.07.2013

I believe the theme of the story is that Sophia feels it is her right to explore her sexuality however she pleases and to have an independent life, no matter what her father thinks. The writer uses setting to narrow the underlying idea, the theme. In this story, there are two different settings. The first one is in Sophia’s father’s home where she gets scolded for having love letters. Her father finds them and asks if she has been deflowered and if she is a whore. He cannot tolerate her sexuality. Sophia rips the letters out of his hands and tells him that is none of his business. She then leaves her father’s home, representing her desire to have her own independence. The second is in her own home where she publicly humiliates her father as she flaunts her sexuality in front of their guests. Sexual contact between a father and daughter is considered incest; she also flirts with breaking this taboo when she arouses his desire with the kiss. She felt the need to draw attention to his inability to control her sexual behavior. She also felt the need to break tradition. Every year for her father’s birthday, the girls and their father would get together, just them. No husbands or children would be invited, the daughters came alone. “So for one night every November the daughters turned back into their father’s girls in the cramped living room, surrounded by the dark oversized furniture from the old house they grew up in, they were children again in a smaller, simpler version of the world”. (Alvarez 1991) Well, on this birthday Sophia wanted to celebrate his birthday at her house, not his. She wanted husbands and children, along with many other people, not just them alone. I don’t think it was her intention to humiliate her father, but with both of them holding onto the past, I knew something was bound to happen. The characters make particular aspects of the underlying idea clear. At the party the father is...
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