Hawaii Social Concerns

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Michener's publication of Hawaii was timely, occurring only three months after Hawaii was granted statehood.

Yet A. Grove Day states that Michener's interest in writing a book about the islands originated over a decade earlier, in 1944, while he was escorting John Dos Passos around Manoa Valley.

Five years later, during a longshoreman's strike, which caused an economic crisis in Hawaii, Michener decided to write a novel that explored the "social relations in this melting pot of the Pacific."

Like Tales of the South Pacific (1947), Hawaii integrates themes of racism, bigotry, exploitation, and prejudice, especially religious prejudice. However, the novel's major theme is symbolized in the archetypal title of its last section, "The Golden Men." The "melting pot" of the Pacific has produced a new type of man whom Michener's narrator describes as "neither all white nor all brown nor all yellow, but somewhere in between" — a blend...

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This section contains 171 words
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Buy the Hawaii Study Guide
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