The Great Santini Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 45 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Great Santini.
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Family

Family is a dominant and overarching theme in the novel 'The Great Santini" by Pat Conroy. Family involves mutual love, unconditional loyalty, emotional and physical support, and compassion between individuals who may or may not be blood-related, but behave in the traditional sense and structure of family. Despite the tyranny of Bull Meecham, the Meecham family is still a family. They conform to the thematic elements of family throughout the novel.

In terms of mutual and unconditional love, this is perhaps the most difficult case to make for the Meechams. Love clearly exists between husband and wife and between mother and children, but not so much between father and children. Animosity is strong between them, especially between Bull and Ben. Bull's bullying nature, his physical and emotional abuse, and his anger all hide the idea that he could possibly love his children. But, small bits and...

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This section contains 915 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Great Santini Study Guide
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