The Old Gringo Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 75 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Old Gringo.
This section contains 994 words
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Identity

All three of the principal characters in this novel have mixed feelings of both love and hatred toward their fathers. When Ambrose Bierce, the old gringo, charges recklessly toward the guns of the Federal troops and is triumphant, his first words are "I have killed my father." He imagines himself, having grown older and increasingly bitter, as having "invented myself a new family, a family of my imagination, through my Club of Parenticides, the target of destruction." He has even lost his chance to identify with his own children because one son became an alcoholic and the other took his own life, mirroring Bierce's own cynical attitude.

Harriet Winslow's sense of herself is based on her idea of honor, which is both supported and offended by memories of her father. The official story that is accepted by the war department is that he died serving his country during...

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This section contains 994 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Old Gringo Study Guide
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Novels for Students
The Old Gringo from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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