What is one major theme from Lorna Doone?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The major theme in this famous novel is of course the much-used theme of thwarted love. Arthur Ridd, as the novel's protagonist, is expected to follow in his father's footsteps and take on the mantle of becoming the man of the family. Part of this mantle is of course hatred of and violence towards the Doones, the family who were responsible for killing his father and who attack various settlements in Exmoor and steal and plunder. It is therefore a particular twist of fate that Arthur falls in love with the daughter of the Doone family, Lorna, and that both have to come to terms with their love and the difficulties they face in expressing it freely. Note the somewhat ironic exchange they have with each other in the following quote:

May be we are not such fools as we look. But though we be, we are well content, so long as we may be two fools together.

Here, Arthur acknowledges the difficulties that lie in their union and the way that their love for each other is opposed on so many different levels. The story is therefore the tale of true love conquering all opposition and how such love is able to overcome even the evil machinations of Carver Doone, who shoots his daughter before engaging Arthur Ridd in single combat.

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Lorna Doone

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