Pastoralia Themes & Motifs

George Saunders
This Study Guide consists of approximately 67 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Pastoralia.
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Financial Hardship

Many of the characters in this collection struggle with financial hardship, and the author uses these characters as a platform for how the less fortunate, under a system of capitalism, are often subjected to inhumane indignities and harsh personal tribulations. One of the most prominent examples of this dynamic in the book are that of the protagonist and Janet in “Pastoralia.” Their work is quite restrictive and humiliating. They are required to spend their days portraying ancient cave people without breaking character, even when there are no patrons present, and they cannot leave the complex after hours. Despite these hardships, their payment apparently does not constitute a sufficient living wage. Janet cannot afford to pay someone to take care of her ailing mother, and the protagonist’s family is sinking into increasingly deep debt due to Nelson’s medical costs in addition to everyday expenses...

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This section contains 4,699 words
(approx. 12 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Pastoralia Study Guide
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