Sophie's Choice Questions and Answers
by William Styron

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In a summary of chapter 6 from Sophie's Choice, what would be of importance to include?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think that chapter 6 holds much in way of how Sophie is as both participant and reflective agent of her past.  The narration of her past to Stingo reflects much in this light.  There is confusion in her retelling, along with a sense of wanting to revise history.  Stingo notes how her telling him the story of his past includes heavy doses of survivor's guilt along with inconsistencies.  This helps to suggest that like all historical narration, our experiences of the past are biased by our living through it and with it.  Certainly, as to be revealed later, Sophie paints the past with the brush of her own emotions about her role in it and having to live with the consequences of it.  Stingo realizes much about Sophie's past and her character in the present as a result of the narration in the chapter.  It is important and significant to note the inclusion of Weil's definition of survivor's guilt.  This is important to understand not simply as part of Sophie's condition as historical narration, but also in her own being.  The idea of "disgust" and "self- hatred" are important descriptors as they become extremely telling in how Sophie's characterization will form throughout the novel.

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