To the White Sea Summary
A number of themes — war, violence, nature, sacrifice, and boundaries — are woven together in the overriding theme of the book, Muldrow's quest.
His trip from a sewer pipe in Tokyo to a blood-and-feathered last stand on Hokkaido constitutes not only the framework for the book but a major theme, as Muldrow, in a long tradition of heroes from Odysseus to Don Quixote, must overcome obstacles to achieve his goal. Muldrow's quest is unique because it is extraordinary; he does not just want to survive, he wants to travel through his enemy's heartland and gain his freedom.
Like other heroes, Muldrow is transformed by his quest. The war propels him to dire circumstances, violence both aggrieves and sustains him, and his own nature shifts as quickly as the terrain under his feet, as he moves from instinctive behavior to thoughtful reflection to nostalgia.
The theme of nature...
(read more from the Short Guide)
The To the White Sea Study Pack contains:
To the White Sea Short Guide
James Dickey Biographies (6)
1,869 words, approx. 7 pages
James Dickey (1923-1997), with his unique vision, often violent imagery, and eccentric style, created for himself a place as an important American poet in the last half of the twentieth century. Altho...
6,353 words, approx. 22 pages
Writer James Dickey led a remarkable life as poet, novelist, critic, and screenwriter. Winner of the National Book Award for his verse collection Buckdancer's Choice, Dickey attained national and inte...
9,026 words, approx. 31 pages
Biography EssayGlory came early in James Dickey's career: six years after his first collection appeared in Poets of Today VII (1960), he won the 1966 National Book Award for Buckdancer's Choice (1965...
8,262 words, approx. 28 pages
[This entry was updated from its original form in Concise Dictionary of British Literary Biography, volume 8, pp. 52--67.]James Dickey was a visionary poet who sought transformation of the Self in ord...
10,810 words, approx. 37 pages
In what he calls a "snapshot" of James Dickey in The Writer's Voice (1973), George Garrett has written, "Legends, myths, fables and fabliaux, anecdotes, quotations from, hard and funny sayings, tru...
8,244 words, approx. 28 pages
James Dickey was a visionary poet who sought transformation of the Self in order to live as fully as possible. Immersed in death encounters, he formulated a poetic vision dramatizing his heightened se...