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Unformatted text preview: Of all the central ideas in this novel, the key to understanding many of the characters lies in their lack of self-knowledge and in their gradually learning to know themselves and value themselves. This is certainly true in Albert's case. The roots of his evil nature come from his not knowing himself. Albert's father didn't rear him to be independent, but rather to be subservient to his father's own interests. When Albert became a man, he used his father for a role model and evolved into a self- centered, irrational individual. For example, note that Albert never asks Shug to marry him, although he openly declares his love for her. In contrast, his first wife was driven to take a lover because she received so little attention from Albert. It is possible that Albert is both very frightened and very awed by Shug. If this is true, then perhaps he was too afraid to ask her to marry him. He couldn't control her. She ruled the perhaps he was too afraid to ask her to marry him....
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- Fall '11