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Very Old Bones Themes & Social Concerns

William Kennedy
This Study Guide consists of approximately 14 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Very Old Bones.
This section contains 1,848 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Very Old Bones Short Guide

Very Old Bones Summary & Study Guide Description

Very Old Bones 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 Very Old Bones by William Kennedy.

Preview of Very Old Bones Summary:

Very Old Bones continues the saga of the Irish-American Phelan and Quinn families that runs through Ironweed (1983), Billy Phelan's Greatest Game (1978), and Quinn's Book (1988).

Unlike those earlier novels, Very Old Bones de-emphasizes Albany as spiritual and historical place and focusses instead on the genetic, psychological, and family forces that shape character and thus fate in three generations of these families. "We are never without the overcoats, however lice-ridden, of our ancestors" ruefully muses the narrator and central character Orson Purcell as he alludes to the ofttimes contaminated family inheritance we inevitably come to possess.

The title Very Old Bones suggests the metaphoric skeletons within the Phelan family history that drove away the older brothers Francis and Peter, and reduced those remaining in the home on Colonie Street to unfulfilled, unhappy lives. Orson will characterize the family situation as "wreckage . . .

left behind in the wake of the behavior...

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This section contains 1,848 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Very Old Bones Short Guide
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