Themes

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 131

Friendship is one of the themes in The Dante Club. Friendship is evident among the club’s members. For instance, Dr. Holmes sees Phineas’s tortured body, which makes him want to resign from the club. Consequently, an argument ensues between the doctor and Lowell. They reconcile after a short time and become even better friends.

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The topic of runaway slaves presents another theme in The Dante Club. The Fugitive Slave Act is discussed in the book, and Matthew Pearl includes an African American police officer character in the story. Furthermore, the Chief Justice is accused of being neutral about the slaves who had escaped.

Murder is another theme in the novel. The entire plot revolves around the killing of several characters, such as Judge Healey, Pliny Mead, and Phineas Jennison.

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