What are some possible themes for "Runaway"?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that one of the central themes to this excellent story is actually indicated in its title, as it points out the various ways that we all run away from aspects of our life. Let us remember the ways that this is shown through the three characters who "run away" in the tale. Carla runs away from her abusive husband, Clark, and her neighbour, Sylvia, helps act as a catalyst for this running away. Sylvia herself runs away later on in the story when Carla returns to Clark, rejecting her formerly strong relationship with Carla. Finally, there is also Flora, Carla's pet goat, who runs away, then returns in time to save Carla from being beaten by her husband, only to disappear again. The way in which Flora's bones are found later on acts as a constant threat to the kind of fate that Carla could meet if she does not accept Clark's abuse in her life. Finally, the biggest act of running away in this story comes at the end, when Carla decides to flee the truth as she forgives her husband from all wrong doing and then settles down to live a life filled with violence in an attempt to escape the same fate that Flora met. Running away is something that dominates the thoughts and minds of the two major female characters, and Munro shows in this story that sometimes the biggest acts of running away do not necessarily involve motion.

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