Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Themes

Tangerine is about Paul's search for his identity. (No, not his ID, his identity. Way more serious, although involving fewer lines at the DMV.) Sure, he wants to remember what happened to him in his past, but it's more than that—he needs to know what he can do. He finds that out in his soccer matches, but more importantly, when he fights for Luis at the awards ceremony, and when he stands up to Erik and Arthur afterwards—and when he remembers what Erik did to him. Once he remembers, he can move forward. Whole. And yes, with ID card in hand.

Questions About Identity

  1. If Paul had not remembered his eye injury when he does, would he have asked his parents to tell him about it? Or would he have kept silent about it still? Would he have even needed to know anymore?
  2. Do you think Paul's sense of his identity will change once he starts at St. Anthony's? How and why?
  3. If Erik has shaped Paul's identity, how has Paul shaped Erik's?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Paul could have snapped out of it without having to wait for another traumatic experience, but he didn't want to.

Mr. and Mrs. Fisher never do find their own true identities

Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top