Passion and Possession in Susan Orlean’s "The Orchid Thief" There are many themes that writers write about in order to better understand and explain the human condition. One such theme is passion, and another is possession. Susan Orlean tries to tackle these issues with much gusto in her bestselling novel, The Orchid Thief. In the novel, she follows John Laroche, an ambitious but quirky man who wants to clone the rare ghost orchid so that zealous orchid growers will pay him money. This scam broke in a local newspaper, and Laroche and his crew of Seminole Indians were taken to court for removing an endangered species of orchid from the state of Florida’s Fakahatchee Swamp. More so than Laroche himself, Orlean explores the world of passion...The end:
.....ion is in a harebrained, moneymaking scheme that involves manipulating both the DNA of the Orchid and the Orchid community. His possession of wealth and of the rare Ghost Orchid is what his passion is, and with all of the characters, passion and possession go hand in hand. Finally, the rabid orchid collectors have an intense passion for orchids, and want to possess the most beautiful orchids and the rarest orchids. This sets the backdrop for the book, and fuels Laroche and Orlean’s interest in their respective passions. The book is incredibly complex and interesting, and one that really delves into the themes of passion and possession in a unique and intelligent way. Works Cited Orlean, Susan. The Orchid Thief. New York: Random House, 2000.