Amanda Lohrey

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Themes and Colors
Grief and Loss Theme Icon
Nature vs. Urban Life Theme Icon
Change and Personal Growth Theme Icon
Community Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Vertigo, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Grief and Loss

Though it often appears indirectly, grief is a constant presence in the lives of Luke and Anna. By always keeping the pain of their loss present but never quite in focus, Vertigo explores a quiet, subtle side of grief that lingers in the background of the characters’ thoughts. This view of grief is expressed through the character known simply as "the boy." The boy is a child that exists only in Luke's…

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Nature vs. Urban Life

The novel's constant comparison of city life and rural life hints at a broader contrast between untamed nature and the structured quality of an urban existence. As this juxtaposition plays out, the novel suggests that the benefits of living in nature are worth the struggles and hardships that come with a more rugged lifestyle. However, Vertigo treats this theme with plenty of nuance, leaving room for interpretation. At the beginning of the novel, Luke and…

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Change and Personal Growth

At the beginning of the novel, Anna and Luke are in desperate need of a change. The rest of their story is an exploration of what their lives might become and, on a broader level, whether change is even possible at all. This focus on change begins with the first line of the novel, which mentions Luke's new and surprising interest in birdwatching. Luke continues to develop as a person after he and Anna…

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Vertigo PDF


Luke and Anna move to the small town of Garra Nalla specifically because it doesn't have many people, but they nonetheless find and embrace a new community there. By showing how everyone in Garra Nalla is stronger for supporting each other, Vertigo casts the importance of community in a positive light. Anna and Luke's first encounter with their new community is through their neighbor Gil, who acts as their guide and the first friend…

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