The Water Is Wide Themes & Symbolism

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Among Conroy's more important themes in this novel are racism and the accompanying prejudice, religion, education, family, isolation, and maturation. Conroy the character, usually called Pat, embarks upon a two-fold quest. The first is that of achieving his own destiny, one about which he has most definite ideas. The second is the liberation of the black island children, and by extension, of their families, from the white-instituted illiteracy which binds them to their past as surely as the chains of slavery did their forefathers. The prejudice he must fight to reach his goals comes in several different forms. The school superintendent, Dr. Henry Piedmont, represents the white establishment in its purest and most deadly form. While outwardly showing an interest in Conroy and his various projects at the island school, he will not allow challenge to his established administrative procedures. Black education differs from white education, and such...

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This section contains 1,192 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Water Is Wide Study Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The Water Is Wide from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.