American Pastoral - Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

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Looking back at his childhood, Nathan notes that the post-war energy was vibrant, optimistic, and forward-looking in America after WWII, especially in Nathan's neighborhood, where Jews familiar with hardship did not want to waste opportunities. Although the adolescents sought more sexual freedom, there was a respect for the values of their parents. There was not an obvious generation gap, but rather a strongly-knit community of striving elders wanting to live better lives through their children.

Nathan especially is fascinated with the depth of detail he remembers about childhood in his culture, and the close familiarity of the families. Everyone knew almost everything about the other families, including the origins of their specific problems. Now at the age of sixty-two, Nathan Zuckerman is at his 1950 high school reunion preparing a speech. He reminisces about friends and experiences; his memories of blues and big band music, and dancing.

His...

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This section contains 439 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the American Pastoral Study Guide
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