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In The Stone Diaries, does Daisy ever try to escape physically or mentally from her...

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mrbuttonmonkey | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 17, 2011 at 6:37 AM via web

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In The Stone Diaries, does Daisy ever try to escape physically or mentally from her father, Clarentine Flett, or herself?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 20, 2011 at 7:15 PM (Answer #1)

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The way in which Daisy shows herself to be stoical in facing the hardships of life shows that she never seeks to escape other characters physically. However, mentally, I think the novel shows the way that writing and recording your life and thinking about it does show how one can escape hardships, albeit temporarily. Allow me to explain.

A key theme in the novel as a whole is the focus on autobiographical and biographical writing. We are given an incomplete or partial account of Daisy's life, and the sense of the gaps in the account of somebody's life is countered in this novel by the act of the imagination which enables such blanks in the life story of somebody to be filled in. Daisy learns from an early age that it is important to reflect upon your life and become an active participant in turning it into the story that you want to be told. Everybody emphasises some elements of their lives and skirts over others, and the narrator draws attention to this by saying:

There are chapters in every life which are seldom read, and certainly not aloud.

Therefore, given the relationship and various hardships that Daisy has with her father, Clarentine Flett and even herself, we can infer that the act of reflection upon her life and setting down her story enables Daisy to mentally escape such conflicts by omitting certain elements of her life that are less than pleasant and focusing on others that fit the picture of herself that she wishes to portray. There is an escape from self in such self-editing that the novel draws attention to.

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