Train Dreams Themes & Motifs

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 Train Dreams.
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Death and Rebirth

Overall, Robert Grainier’s story seems to be primarily defined by experiences of life returning in the aftermath of death. This thematic idea manifests in two main ways: in terms of Grainier’s own life, and in terms of the life of nature. The latter is arguably more vividly, and more apparently, portrayed. There are repeated descriptions throughout the narrative of how life returns to the valley in which Grainier makes his home in the aftermath of a devastating, all-consuming fire. Narration makes a point of describing different aspects of this returning life: how it takes considerable amounts of time, and how the life that emerges from the ashes and destruction left by the fire is different from the life before. The trees are different; the smaller plants, grasses, and flowers are different; and the behavior of the animals is different. Life is renewed...

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This section contains 1,941 words
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Buy the Train Dreams Study Guide
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