Theme Of Didion's Play It As It Lays

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The Escape of the Freeway in Didion 's Play it As it Lays The absence or termination of life or existence provokes an act of escape. Escape from a life of nothingness can be both a healing mechanism and the discovery of purpose in an individuals life. Maria Wyeth 's intensity of denial and passivity devour every single one of her actions throughout Joan Didion 's Play It As It Lays. It seems as if nothing really gives genuine meaning in Maria 's life, however, something she does possess is strong emotions for indiscriminately driving on the freeway. She has absolutely no direction or idea of where she 's going in life in general without the freeway. Maria finds comfort in driving on the freeways and looks to it almost as a distraction from …show more content…
Her dedication to driving on the freeway gives meaning to her life. The way it mends the brokenness inside of her in result of not having Kate, ultimately makes the freeway significant. It is also evident that the roads Maria is driving on aren 't just random roads to places she doesn 't know of or hasn 't given much thought to. It is a routine therefore she does this so often that it becomes a lifestyle. All her time and stamina are committed to where she eventually wants to be and where she is headed to. This could very much imply that her destination could potentially take place from one freeway to another until she eventually reaches her desired destination. This idea of driving on the freeway not only becomes such a big part of her life, but she almost becomes one with it. She is so accustomed to the idea of the freeway just like a routine that it becomes an escape for her. This is seen perfectly when Didion is describing the way Maria connected with the freeway through her use of metaphors when she says, "She drove it as a river man runs a river, every day more attuned to its currents, its deceptions."(16). Driving on the freeway in this context is almost portrayed as if it is a career, or an occupation. Maria knows every design and arrangement of the freeway …show more content…
These thoughts of the perfect family she wants and her relationship with Kate is the only thing that gives her a purpose to hold on to her fleeting life. The fact that Kate is still alive is Maria 's motivation to keep hanging on to whatever meaning she can find in her life. Augustus Forbes Leith points out that the love a mother has for her child is pure and that there 's nothing comparable to it. He says, "There is no love so lasting, so strong, so disinterested, so unselfish, so devoted as that first and purest of all loves, a mother 's love. It begins with your birth, and ends with her death." Maria 's love for Kate is what keeps her sane and gives her true purpose in her life. Complimentary to her love for Kate, the freeway is something that isn 't forced on to her but a choice that mended her feeling of emptiness inside. David Brodsly speaks about a freeway having a sense of freedom in a brilliant way when he says "Every time we merge with traffic we join our community, in a wordless creed: belief in individual freedom, in a technological liberation from place and circumstance, in a democracy of personal mobility."(Brodsyl 5). A drive on the freeway is similar to the feeling of freedom and capability. The freedom to go anywhere or be anyone that a person desires. Driving on the freeway is giving meaning to Maria 's life because it is gives her the opportunity to

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