Theme and message


The main theme in “The Little Black Dress” by Clifford Thurlow is the search for identity. Through Vicky’s character, the author’s message is that one should never settle for an average life if one has the wish and power to transform it and go to a better place.

The search for identity

From the beginning of the story, it is clear that Vicky is a woman who cannot find her true self. Although her life seems wonderful, she does not feel content. She used to love her husband, but she now despises the values he represents and the way he treats her and manipulates her: “In the early days of their relationship, Vicky would nuzzle against his neck, feel protected, as if his beard were an umbrella on a rainy day, a parasol in the sun, his shoulder a shelter in the storm.” (ll. 67-69); “She spends a long time sitting on the loo. It would be nice to find fault with Fergus, have a good row, break something, but Vicky doesn’t have the energy.” (ll. 47-50)

Because of her marriage with Fergus, Vicky has come to repress her feel...

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