Whistlejacket Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 13 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Whistlejacket.
This section contains 1,066 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
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Whistlejacket Summary & Study Guide Description

Whistlejacket 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 Literary Precedents on Whistlejacket by John Hawkes.

Preview of Whistlejacket Summary:

Whistlejacket is a study in human cruelty and how people rationalize it.

The novel sets out in the manner of a domestic romance. Michael, now a fashion photographer, had been taken in and raised by Harold (Hal) Van Fleet, the wealthy owner of Steepleton, a horse breeding farm that stages fox hunts. The novel begins with a description of Michael's sexual awakening, with hints that he and Hal's daughter, Virgie, will become lovers. This seemingly gentle movement toward romance is shaken when Hal's widow asks Michael to create a photographic biography of her deceased husband.

Michael discovers that the fine, upright man he had admired as a father was also a cruel manipulator of women.

Buse, who Michael believed had been befriended by the Van Fleets as he had been, is revealed to have been Hal's mistress. Three years after his marriage to Alex, Hal informed her that...

This section contains 1,066 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Whistlejacket Short Guide
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Whistlejacket from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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