The River Between Us Themes

Richard Peck
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Racism

An atmosphere of racism pervades the entire novel, particularly the central section narrated by the younger Tilly. There, virtually every narrative element having to do with Delphine and Calinda is defined to one degree or another by racist sensibilities or, to be strictly accurate, by the fact that they're from the Southern United States, a part of the world in which the entire culture was grounded in systemic racism, primarily manifesting in the form of slavery. More specifically, the American Civil War, the context within which the central narrative is set, was fought on the grounds of the South's determination to perpetuate that racism and the North's determination to bring it to an end. Also, Delphine's social situation as the descendent of a black woman is completely defined by racist perceptions and beliefs, as is the situation of Calinda. A vivid manifestation of those beliefs can be found...

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This section contains 919 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The River Between Us Study Guide
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