48 pages 1 hour read

Emily Giffin

All We Ever Wanted

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2018

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Symbols & Motifs

The Green Uno Card

Content Warning: This novel contains scenes relating to non-consensual sharing of sexual photos, sexual assault, and racism.

The green Uno card in Lyla’s hand in the photograph taken by Finch reflects racism and ignorance. The caption of Finch’s Snapchat story reads: “Looks like she got her green card” (25). This implies that Lyla is both undocumented and willing to obtain legal citizenship through sexual activities. By including this in the novel, Giffin opens up a conversation about the detrimental effects of racism. Lyla has both white and Brazilian heritage, and several of the other characters refer to her as Hispanic even though she is technically Brazilian, or Latina. By placing the green Uno card in her hand, Finch belittles her heritage and expresses ignorance regarding both race and immigration. Kirk and Finch’s insistence that the caption is “a joke” further emphasizes the harmful consequences of not taking racism seriously.

The green Uno card reflects false perceptions about Lyla. It also represents the ignorance many choose to not overcome. For example, Melanie refers to Lyla as a “mulatto”(145), which is a derogatory term for a person with a diverse racial background. Even though

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