Heat and Light: A Novel Themes & Motifs

Jennifer Haigh
This Study Guide consists of approximately 66 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Heat and Light.
This section contains 1,586 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
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Environmentalism

Environmentalism connects and divides characters throughout the novel, creating the central tension and driving much of the plot. Bakerton was established during the Pennsylvania Gold Rush in the late nineteenth-century, and thrived as a coal mining town in the mid-twentieth-century. Years later, after the mines have closed, when Dark Elephant comes to Bakerton and buys the mineral rights to many properties throughout the town, most residents only think as far as potential royalty checks. However, as the energy company drills for natural gas, the land becomes depleted, water is contaminated, and Bakerton resident have no choice but to notice environmental concerns.

In light of these environmental concerns, neighbors turn on neighbors who threaten their royalty checks with their complaints or, in contrast, impact their farming businesses with contaminated water and land. For example, when Rich asks Wally Fetterson about the state of his water, Wally visibly...

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This section contains 1,586 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Heat and Light: A Novel Study Guide
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