Why did Alice Munro choose to title the book "Runaway"?

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

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What is interesting about this collection of stories is the way in which it contains three stories about the same protagonist, which is Juliet. Even though she does not appear in the title story, it is clear that running away is a theme that is predominant in all of the group of tales in this collection. Let us just consider for one moment the way in which running away occurs in the three stories in which Juliet features.

Consider how in "Soon" Juliet finds that she is unable to connect with her home community and with her parents. Her attempt to run away from her problems and find solace and shelter in this way is shown to be a failure. The story ends with her running away from relationships and the ties that bind her. In "Silence," Juliet's daughter in turn runs away from her, just as Juliet ran away from her obligations to her mother. Such examples of how important the theme of running away is to this collection makes the opening title story, "Runaway," appropriate to be used as the title of the collection as a whole, as it features a woman who is running away from her abusive husband, who eventually returns, as she is running away from the truth. The majority of the characters run away from some thing at some point in the tales.


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