A Complicated Kindness Reader Response Analysis

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The theme of tolerance is explored in Miriam Toews’ A Complicated Kindness through literary techniques and characters. The protagonist, Nomi Nickle, has to tolerate the ridiculous rules enforced in her town by her uncle, The Mouth. The people in the town are put in a tough situation as they don’t want to rebel against the rules but still want to be good citizens. Tolerance is an important theme in the novel and also plays a crucial role in our lives today.

Table of Content

In the book A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews, the theme of tolerance is effectively conveyed through literary techniques and the portrayal of characters. The protagonist, Nomi Nickle, experiences tolerance in her daily life. She is forced to endure the absurd rules imposed upon the residents of East Village. These rules, enforced by Nomi’s uncle known as The Mouth or Hans, led to the closure of various establishments such as the bar, bus depot, pool hall, and swimming pool. Additionally, all teachers were compelled to follow a curriculum that deviated from the standard provincial guidelines, as seen in the quote: “Before the purges occurred and the Mouth took over everything…forced all the teachers to follow an oddball curriculum that had nothing to do with the standard provincial guideline” (Toews, pg 13). This quote exemplifies how life in East Village became monotonous and how the townspeople had no choice but to tolerate The Mouth’s control.

I can completely understand Nomi’s predicament because often in life we are required to adhere to rules and instructions, whether we like it or not. Nomi and the others find themselves in a difficult situation as they do not wish to defy the rules but still aspire to be good citizens and attain heaven, which is why they endure these regulations. Tolerance is a significant theme in this book and it continues to play a crucial role in our present-day lives.

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A Complicated Kindness Reader Response Analysis. (2016, Oct 30). Retrieved from


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