Vicarful Symmetry Quotes

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To do something vicariously means to do something through another person. If someone is to do anything in a vicarious manner, that person is a substitute in a sense. That individual would be getting something secondhand. In Her Fearful Symmetry, many of the characters live vicariously in one way or another. One of the most memorable quotes from the novel shows this extremely well when Martin says “that’s the thing about living vicariously; it’s so much faster than actual living” (Niffenegger 188). It was said by one character, but it seems to fit for several of them. The quote shows that some of the characters not only live indirectly, but that they seem to enjoy it. Throughout the novel, multiple characters take their turn living their life vicariously. A set of twins, Julia and Valentina, lose their mother to cancer, so they go to live with…show more content…
Valentina doesn’t like being the weaker twin, so she wants to convince Julia she dies so she can get away and live her own life. Valentina expresses her feelings that “[she doesn’t] want to boss anyone [she doesn’t] want to be bossed” (Niffenegger 207). Valentina has no desire to live indirectly. She wants to live as herself completely. Elspeth removes Valentina’s soul from her body to fake her death and after the funeral Robert finds that Elspeth has taken over Valentina’s body because Valentina wouldn’t go back into her own body. Valentina’s soul gets trapped in the apartment as Elspeth’s had been before she got her life back in her daughter’s body. Julia frees Valentina’s soul from the apartment and grieves over the loss of her sister. Soon after, Julia sees Elspeth in Valentina’s body, pregnant, out shopping. Elspeth then tells Robert they need to move somewhere else so she can continue to live through Valentina without being recognized by those who knew her daughter that is supposedly dead. Elspeth thrives off of living through

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