Characters

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 154

There are only two singled-out characters in Paradise, who are represented in grammatical variances of the personal pronouns "he" and "she." She falls in love with him for an unarticulated reason and goes with him on a trip to an abstract, idyllic, resort-like place. She initially has an optimistic attitude about her future with him, but soon views her new world as "insubstantial" and "collapsible." Eventually, she escapes this existential trap by attempting suicide.

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He, on the other hand, is a domineering figure, gaining pleasure and self-preservation from asserting power over her. He idealizes her as an object which he can freely manipulate. He accomplishes this by forcing her into reductive gender roles (for example, he makes her cook for his friends) and with the power of language, manipulating her into learning to swim and allowing his opinions (and those of his friends) to make her insecure and dependent on her identification with him.

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