While avid Conroy fans will recognize many of the thematic concerns of previous novels in Beach Music, including sibling relationships, parent and child relationships, family abuse, mental illness, class differences, politics, religion and faith, new themes add focus to this novel. War occupies much of the reader's attention through the discussion by the Jewish characters of the terrors of the Holocaust and through an overview of the effects of the Vietnam war on those who remained at home. No scenes or reminiscences from the fighting in Vietnam itself appear, but much attention focuses on the war protestors and on the older generation who greatly disapproved of such actions. Conroy attempts to balance the arguments for and against involvement in the war as characters disagree over the definition of "patriotism." The sub theme of peace takes on a double meaning as Jack's high school friends try to find a way to accept one another's actions by applying a new perspective thirty years following the war-protest events which severed some of their friendships.
The related themes of faith and religion, frequently present in Southern writing, and always present in Conroy's novels, find revival through Conroy's consistent focus on the mysteries of Catholicism and also through an emphasis on the Jewish religion. Not only does Conroy's main figure struggle with his own faith, he must direct the religious training of his daughter whose mother was Jewish....
(The entire section is 1238 words.)
Show us the love and view this for free! Use the facebook like button, or any other share button on this page, and get this content free!free!
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Beach Music Themes. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!