The Greenlanders Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 7 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Greenlanders.
This section contains 281 words
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The Greenlanders Summary & Study Guide Description

The Greenlanders Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Related Titles on The Greenlanders by Jane Smiley.

Preview of The Greenlanders Summary:

Like much of Smiley's fiction, The Greenlanders focuses on social collapse which occurs because those involved — through ignorance, stubbornness, or chance — are incapable of changing to meet new conditions. While the descendants of Asgeir Gunnarsson are Smiley's main concern, she introduces a large cast of characters — farmers, clergy, outlaws, sailors, and Skraelings — to develop her theme of social collapse.

Nevertheless, all is not doom-ridden.

In the midst of long-term decline individual people and families rejoice at the birth of children, pass the winters telling tales, weaving and knitting clothes and playing games, labor through the nightless summers harvesting hay, making cheeses, drying meat, and shearing sheep, arrange and celebrate weddings, and journey to the annual Thing to conduct business and renew acquaintances. Only those who live long and have good memories sense the general pattern of community decline.

Nonetheless, The Greenlanders suggests how fragile...

This section contains 281 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The Greenlanders Short Guide
The Greenlanders from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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