Burned Themes

Burned Themes


The premise of Burned centers largely around the theme of rebellion. Many of Pattyn's actions and decisions are fueled by her disdain for the Mormon lifestyle her parents have imposed on her and her desire to become her own woman. Rebelling against her strict father is also the reason that Pattyn chooses to do many of the things she does that she knows her father would not approve of, including dating Derek, Ethan, drinking, and having sex. In that sense, the theme of rebellion features in Burned greatly through the protagonist.


Another major theme of the novel is revenge. This is most outrightly seen at the end of the novel where Pattyn vows to take revenge upon her father for the way she has treated her by killing him.


Love is also another main theme in the novel. In the novel, love is portrayed in many different lights and we, as the readers, are called to question the extent and reality of love. We see the relationship between Pattyn's parents as one of duty and lacking in love. Yet we also see how Aunt J treats Pattyn with genuine love and respect. Pattyn's relationships with Derek and Ethan also juxtapose the difference between infatuation (Derek) and true love (Ethan).

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