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Written by Julia Wolf
Waiting and devotion
This theme is vividly articulated in the relations between Ada and Inman: they fell in love with each other, but the war separated them. It was enough for them to have a few meetings to realize that they don’t want someone else for each other. They have not seen each other for many years, but the reader sees how warmly each of them remembers about each other, how carefully they keep in their souls their memories. Ada has many opportunities to make her life easier, if she gets married, and Inman has a lot of opportunities to have other women. But they keep their troth, the promise which was said not with the words, but with their souls.
This theme is closely connected with the first one. The fortitude of a man is widely opened in the text in the images of many characters. The reader sees Inman, who went through almost the whole country so to see his love. We see Ada, who didn’t give up, when her father died, when she stayed alone, couldn’t do anything in the farm, while she was devotedly waiting for Inman. We see Ruby, who had a very difficult childhood, but who kept being a strong and hardworking woman, and stayed kind at the same time. And other characters show the reader how not to despair, even when the war is blustering next to you.
This theme is a background to all the events which take place in the story. The war breaks into the people’s lives, bringing unhappiness, separation from close and beloved people, and death. It separated Ada with Inman first for some years, then it kills Inman (since he is killed by the troops that are catching the deserters); it even separates Ruby with her father.
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