The Pine Islands Themes & Motifs

Marion Poschmann
This Study Guide consists of approximately 45 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Pine Islands.
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Transformation and Rebirth

This theme explores the process of transformation that Gilbert undergoes through his pilgrimage, a process that allows him, in the end, to reexamine his life and his priorities. The theme aptly suits the novel's setting, other themes, and symbols, as Buddhism is a spiritual practice centered around the idea of awakening and rebirth.

The most overt way this transformation is made manifest is through the novel's beginning and end, both of which involve Gilbert thinking of his wife Mathilda, but in radically different terms. When the novel begins, Gilbert awakens from a dream certain that Mathilda has cheated on him, and this is what spurs his pilgrimage. He spends the first leg of his journey still furious at Mathilda for this imagined slight, but then begins writing letters to her as he travels, and even reveling in memories of her that ultimately cause him...

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This section contains 2,468 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Pine Islands Study Guide
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