The basic theme in Acres and Pains is that civilized man and rural life are not compatible. In what starts out as a journey back to nature, the author discovers that there are no Rousseauistic noble savages among the locals — who constantly take advantage of his pocketbook, gullibility, and inexperience in a rural environment. The reality of chiggers, dry wells, cracked walls, dying trees, termites, and mosquitoes soon undermines his idealized vision of country life.
(The entire section is 75 words.)
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