Themes

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 187

Fornication is the theme of My Uncle Oswald. Oswald regards sexual intercourse as the center of his life. He wants to be rich so that he can at his leisure use his extraordinary good looks to bed as many women as possible. He has even made it a rule that he should bed no woman more than once. A clever man, he wastes his talents on pursuing relationships of no value. His partner Yasmin uses her beauty and a powerful aphrodisiac to entice famous men into sex; she often has to wrestle with the men to put a condom on them that will hold the semen.

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The plot follows Oswald and Yasmin as they romp across Europe, gathering semen as they go. Much of the humor lies in the portraits of famous men in awkward situations. For instance, the notoriously asexual playwright Bernard Shaw is shown running half naked down a street after Yasmin. Some critics have likened Dahl's sex-farce short stories to long dirty jokes, and the description seems apt for this novel, as well. The humor focuses on sex and remains lighthearted throughout the book.

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