Machine Dreams Study Questions & Topics for Discussion

This Study Guide consists of approximately 10 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Machine Dreams.
This section contains 812 words
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Phillips repeatedly portrays the individual caught in the crisis of a disintegrating family. Frequently, the failure of the family structure parallels more general failure in the society as a whole. In Machine Dreams, for example, the conflict among the Hampsons represents the conflicts in American society. Mitch, the World War II veteran, cannot understand his daughter's opposition to the Vietnam war of his son's almost fatalistic indifference to being drafted. Like many mothers, Jean urges her son to remain in college, not to gain an education but to retain his deferment. Discussion groups might analyze the contrast between Mitch's service in World War II and Billy's tour in Vietnam. Phillips raises the issue of the country's attitude toward returning Vietnam veterans and later toward MIAs.

As family bonds are loosened, Phillips's characters frequently find themselves adrift without meaningful social or personal values. The result is personal isolation seen...

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This section contains 812 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Machine Dreams Short Guide
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Machine Dreams from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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