The Clan of the Cave Bear Essay

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Rex is an adjunct professor at theUniversity of Detroit Mercy. In the following essay, he explores how the social structure of The Clan of the Cave Bear reflects Auel's concerns for contemporary American society.

Jean Auel's The Clan of the Cave Bear has been embraced as the most popular work of prehistoric fiction in American culture. Readers love getting caught up in the story of Ayla and how she tries to be true to herself and yet fit into the new culture. Many people see the novel as a possible, if not probable, depiction of life in the world of the Neanderthal. However, Auel creates the vast majority of Clan culture on no actual evidence. Instead, she creates a culture that is very much like the American society that Auel saw around her with a healthy dash of high Victorian culture mixed in with it. Auel does not...

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This section contains 1,890 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Clan of the Cave Bear Study Guide
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The Clan of the Cave Bear from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.