In Three Lives Gertrude Stein created a bigger picture about life through her writing style and use of language. Throughout Three Lives, Stein uses adjectives and other descriptive words to describe her characters personalities and tendencies. These descriptive words made the reader question the actual meaning of the words because theses descriptive words were not necessarily consistent with the specific character they were associated with. With this inconsistency, Stein presents the idea that not everything in life can be put in to one box or category. There are many aspects that make up a whole. In this case, there are many aspects that make up each character’s personality, yet Stein uses one word descriptions to describe each character with the exception of one. Steins style of writing and language usage creates inconsistencies that cause the reader to get a bigger picture about aspects of life.
In “The Gentle Lena”, Lena was presented as a quiet girl that did what she was told all the time no matter what it was. That is how she survived because she would not know what to do with herself otherwise. She was never angry; even when other girls would tease her that would only make “a gentle stir within her” (Stein, 172). In fact, she never really showed any type of emotion as if she felt nothing. She was always seemed to be very calm and content with what she was doing.. Lena was always waiting for someone to tell her what to do. It was as if she could not make her own decisions; after all, “Lena was good and never wanted her own way” (Stein, 179). She enjoyed receiving direction because she did not have to make any decisions for herself. She did not think; she just did. For this reason, Lena was unaware of her own identity. Sometimes she did not even know what she liked (Stein, 176). It is apparent that gentle does fit some aspects of Lena’s personality, but there are definitely other aspects to her personality that were not directly addressed.
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