67 pages 2 hours read

Taylor Jenkins Reid

Carrie Soto Is Back

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2022

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Symbols & Motifs


Javier calls Carrie his “Achilles” from a young age. She learns early about the famous warrior, the “Greatest of the Greeks” (29), and for her, this idea symbolizes her invincibility and the inevitability of her greatness. The first reference to Achilles comes when Javier tells Carrie that “Achilles was a great warrior because it was his destiny to become one” (15). Teaching Carrie this and comparing her story to Achilles’s gives Carrie the impression that she is meant to become larger than life. She strives to achieve greatness, believing so deeply in this “destiny” that it dominates her life. It leads her to fear failure, since she focuses so much on winning that she loses herself along the way. If she cannot become Javier’s Achilles, then she will have failed—not just as a tennis player, but as a person.

However, in Greek legends, Achilles does lose. Achilles is famous for his single point of weakness: his heel. Most myths claim that Achilles died when Paris of Troy shot him in the heel with an arrow. Neither Carrie nor Javier bring attention to this aspect of the Achilles tales. Javier simply calls Carrie his “Achilles,” and Carrie focuses on Achilles’s strength and heroism.