The Appointment

by Herta Müller

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What are the three main themes of the novel The Appointment?

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This novel, like most, presents several themes for reader consideration.  Themes relate to individuals not only through the works themselves but through how the reader interprets the theme in his own lifel.

First, the distinctions between the wealthy and the poor is illuminated.  The seamstress works in a factory which sells gorgeous and expensive ball gowns. In contrast, the seamstress owns nothing of the sort, barely surviving herself, and hopes to improve her situation by getting any of the wealthy gentlemen who she encounters to marry her.  She doesn't care which one offers; she only wishes to improve her situation.

Secondly, the reader is introduced to the horrors of war and tyrannical ruling bodies.  The seamstress recounts her life in Romania, starving and sick, during one of many oppressive regimes.  She, her family, and her friends endured countless horrors and torture during those times.

Finally, the reader must examine the question of justice.  What is just?  Is slipping requests for marriage into men's pockets so bad that the seamstress is fired and relentlessly interrogated?  She is simply trying to better her situation, improve her life.  As readers not living under oppression, we can understand her desire for freedom but not the position from which it came. 

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