The Nuclear Age Symbols & Objects

Tim O'Brien
This Study Guide consists of approximately 42 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Nuclear Age.
This section contains 559 words
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Pencil graphite

When William is a child, the fact that pencils are made with graphite, and not actual lead, represents how the adults of the world are constantly lying to him. The fact that pencils are actually made with graphite is not necessarily consequential to William on its own, but it feels like a further betrayal after William feels misled about the nature of the danger of nuclear war.

Geology

William becomes deeply interested in geology as an academic subject because geology, for him, represents the tangible realities of the world. For William, this realness is a marked contrast with the many ephemeral anxious thoughts that go through his head.

Cheerleading

Cheerleading, which Sarah Strouch is involved in when she begins to protest with William at Peverson State College, represents a form of willfully ignorant Americana -- a segment of society that is unconcerned with the moral...

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This section contains 559 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Nuclear Age Study Guide
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