1. Introduction 1
2. Demonstration 2
2.1 Factors causing escape 2
2.1.1 Escape from parents 2
2.1.2 Escape from social contact 3
2.1.3 Escape from self-restraint 4
2.1.4 Escape from religion 5
2.2 Significance of escape 6
2.2.1 Compromising with the real life 6
2.2.2 Finding inner self 8
3. Conclusion 8
Works Cited 10
An Analysis of the Escape Theme in Chance, Soon and Silence
Alice Munro（1931~）is a Canadian woman author who was born Alice Ann Laidlaw in Wingham, Ontario. Her father, Robert Eric Laidlaw, was a fox and mink farmer, and her mother, Anne Clarke Laidlaw, was a schoolteacher. Munro began writing as a teenager. She had been majoring in English and journalism at the University of Western Ontario since 1949 and published her first story The Dimensions of a Shadow in 1950 while she was studying in her university under a two-year scholarship. During this period she worked as a waitress, a tobacco picker, and a library clerk. In 1951, she left the university to marry fellow student James Munro. They moved to Dundarave, West Vancouver. In 1963, the couple moved to Victoria, where they opened Munro’s Books, which is still operating.
Munro’s highly acclaimed first collection of stories, Dance of the Happy Shades which won the Governor General’s Award in 1968, then Canada’s highest literary prize. That success was followed by Lives of Girls and Women in 1971, a collection of interlinked stories. In 1978, Munro’s collection of interlinked stories Who Do You Think You Are? was published. This book earned Munro a second Governor General’s Literary Award. Since the 1980s, Munro has published a short-story collection at least once every four years and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages. She was the winner of the Governor General’s Award for Fiction in 1968 for her book The Progress of Love and she was the winner of the Trillium Book Award in 1990. In 2001, her book Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage was republished as Away from Her. In 2013, Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize of Literature, cited as a master of the contemporary short story. She is the first Canadian and the 13th woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Runaway is one of Munro’s masterpieces and won her the Giller Prize and Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize in 2004. It is composed of eight short stories: Runaway, Chance, Soon, Silence, Passion, Trespasses, Tricks and Powers. Every short story has one or two female protagonists. These women live in one small town in Canada. They want to escape from their original life, but their escape all fail in the end. Juliet is the hero of three interlinked stories —Chance, Soon and Silence. In Chance she gets the master’s degree of classical literature when she is 21. Then she learns that the female students learning classical literature are often regarded as weird and unacceptable. She wants to escape the original track, so she ends the school life and escapes from her parents to follow the fisherman—her late husband Eric. In Soon their daughter Penelope is born. And Juliet takes her to visit Juliet’s parents—Sam and Sara. What Juliet does in her parents’ home makes them down. And Juliet feels that she still can’t stand her mother. Silence is about Juliet’s frustration and silence after Penelope suddenly leaves home and abandons her to live a rich life in another place.
This paper will analyze the escape theme in Alice Munro’s three short stories Chance, Soon and Silence in terms of the factors causing female character’s escape and the significance of their escape.
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