Alice Munro is constantly praised for her intricate themes and use of motifs. There are some common topics which Alice Munro weaves into themes, but both themes and motifs vary significantly piece to piece. In this section, we are going to draw some general trends about themes and motifs by examining "The Beggar Maid." The original video below is a very concise summary, however, the alternative of reading the text is also available (in this case, please refer to "The Beggar Maid" reference material on the side-bar.) I hope you enjoy!
Original presentation on Alice Munro's use of themes and motifs.
Theme: Key Components
(Refer to "The Beggar Maid" synopsis on the side-bar)
Emergence of Themes
Theme 1: When people conceal their true selves for various purposes, the adverse/unintended consequences emerge.
ULTIMATELY: Concealment distorts relationships in accumulating stress, guilt, and distrust. The couple not truly knowing each other presents a faulty relationship to begin with.
Theme 1: Love is stained when it's purpose is other than love itself.
ULTIMATELY: The couple's motives are not for love. They assume themselves to be in love while in reality holding different purposes for a reunion.