Out Stealing Horses Questions and Answers
by Per Petterson

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What is a theme of Out Stealing Horses?

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Two important and related themes in Out Stealing Horses are the idea of solitude and peace. The definition of solitude refers to a state of being secluded or remote, away from habitation. Solitude does not usually bear a negative sense to it. Solitude can be thought of in terms of a quiet cabin nestled in the pine woods where a person goes to collect their thoughts or be free of the demands of a hectic life. Lars, Trond and Trond's father are characters in the story who have intentionally chosen solitude for their lives. They are not represented as lonely, which is a sad depressed feeling. They are only represented as preferring to be on their own for their own various reasons.

The related theme of peace amplifies the meaning of their solitude. These characters enjoy their peace and quiet and use words sparingly allowing thoughts to fill the spaces of peaceful quietude between words. The peace that surrounds a person who has chosen solitude in nature or in isolation within society is opposed by war, which is loud and brash and ever-present, as the German armies more than demonstrated during their occupation of Norway.

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