45 pages 1 hour read

Emily Giffin

Something Borrowed

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2005

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Gaining Self-Confidence

One of the main themes of the book is Rachel’s journey to find her self-confidence. Rachel begins the book as a passive character, content to live her life in Darcy’s shadow. She believes Darcy is better than her in all aspects of life and “always gets what she wants” (24). Darcy “wins” because she expects to, whereas Rachel doesn’t “even try” (247). As Rachel begins her affair with Dex, she starts to realize how disengaged she is from her own life story. She assesses her past relationships and determines that the only common theme is her passivity. Ethan tells Rachel that Darcy has always been “riding roughshod” (96) over her, and Rachel starts to see that truth. She wakes up to the fact that Darcy deliberately kept Rachel in her shadow and manipulated situations to appear more successful.

As Rachel’s growing relationship with Dex forces her to take risks and operate out of her comfort zone, it pushes her to reexamine herself and change her ways. She begins to view herself as attractive, deciding that she has “a softness that [Darcy] lacks” (119). She stops constantly comparing herself to Darcy, and reevaluates Darcy’s character as judgmental and “selfish, plain and simple” (145).

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By Emily Giffin