Ham on Rye Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 37 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Ham on Rye.
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Many critics call this novel a coming of age story. In many ways it is though the main character, Henry, doesn't really resolve any of the issues that are weighing him down. He does, however, move through his childhood and into an adult role, though he doesn't seem overly successful with any of it. Henry recounts that he can remember pieces of his life in Germany before his family moved to America. He then tells of his life as a child growing up with an abusive father and an indifferent mother who allowed her son to be beaten regularly. Henry pushes to find his way in the world and zeros in on alcohol and fighting as ways to handle life. He spends as much time as possible drinking and says that he almost never has enough to drink often enough. He never seems to examine his...

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This section contains 863 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ham on Rye Study Guide
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