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An Analysis of Escape Theme in Alice Munro’s Runaway

Author ZhuJia
Tutor WeiLi
School Inner Mongolia University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Alice Munro Runaway Escape Theme
CLC I711.074
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
Downloads 352
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Alice Munro is a prominent writer in contemporary Canadian literature. She is praised for her writing strategy of Chekhovian realism, her keen insight and attentiveness to ordinary life. Munro exquisitely captures dramatic moments of her characters’ lives in her stories. Although Munro is not a fiercely feminist writer, she always concerns with women and their situations. With her remarkably terse and lucid language, Munro depicts every aspect of women, especially with concerns of their love, family and inner world. Her latest collection of short stories Runaway won the Giller Prize—Canada’s biggest literary award for fiction right after its publication. In the collection, Munro not merely provides a clear description of the life of common people, but also focuses on ordinary life of ordinary women with full embodiments of their internal sentiment and inner world.Through a meticulous analysis of the characterization of the female protagonists in Runaway, this thesis is aiming at a comprehensive and deep interpretation the significant motif of escape. It probes into the influential factors that impact on Munro’s writing, including social and historical background of Canada, characteristics of the time and Munro’s personal experience. It also reveals the reasons and results of the female protagonists’ escape and emphasizes the positive and negative social significance of the action of escape. Further, this thesis provides reference and enlightenment for modern women who are facing with the similar situation like the protagonists in the collection:temporary escape may provide them with a chance of reviewing and adjusting. Only women find their own identity and proper place in society, can they challenge life bravely and live with confidence and willingness, and eventually can achieve their liberation physically and spiritually.Scholars have conducted research on Runaway mostly from the perspective of narratology. The motif of escape appears frequently in Munro’s works has not yet been comprehensively studied. Since escape is always regarded as a negative action, the exploration of its positive meaning and its social realistic significance can certainly widen the scope of female literature studies.

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