The Clan of the Cave Bear Essay

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In the essay below, Wood examines the psychological development of Auel's protagonist in the author's first two novels. She also suggests that, in spite of the strong romantic overtones of the plots, the story is a classic adventure.

By its very nature, speculative fiction has great potential to explore variations in patterns of human interaction. Jean M. Auel, in The Clan of the Cave Bear (1980) and its sequel The Valley of Horses, demonstrates how such fiction can delve into basic human problems. Set in the Ice Age near theBlack Sea, the novels trace the growth and perseverance through adversity of its adolescent female protagonist. The author gives careful attention to detail and thus creates a believable portrait of the distant past. Nonetheless, the remote settings do not obscure the fact that the main character is a young woman, Ayla, caught in an essentially male-oriented world, striving for independence...

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This section contains 2,802 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
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