What are some themes in A High Wind in Jamaica?

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One of the themes you might like to consider is the unbridgeable gap between the worlds of adults and children. They inhabit parallel universes, each with their own distinct code of values and priorities. When adults at the bazaar start getting drunk on a potent brew called "Hangman's Blood," the...

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One of the themes you might like to consider is the unbridgeable gap between the worlds of adults and children. They inhabit parallel universes, each with their own distinct code of values and priorities. When adults at the bazaar start getting drunk on a potent brew called "Hangman's Blood," the children are puzzled by the sudden change in behavior this causes: the slurred speech, the change in their tone of voice, the candid facial expressions, which conceal just as much as they reveal.

What really separates adults from children in the story, however, is their respective understandings of time. The Bas-Thornton children live exclusively in the present; the future is utterly fantastical to them. When the savage storm destroys their parents's house, it also creates an Edenic paradise for the children—a playground full of fun and excitement. Their father, however, must look to the future and figure out how he's going to organize his family's life now that their home has been destroyed.

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One of the central themes in A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes is childhood. The author shows the reader how children can be innocent. However, this innocence makes them capable of doing anything. Some adults view children as arrogant and cruel; however, this is not the case as their behaviors are driven by their naivety. The author of the book makes this point clear by showing how the Bas-Thornton children reason.

Another theme that is presented in the book is piracy. Pirates invade the vessel carrying the children and accidentally take them to their ship. Upon realizing that there are children on board, the pirates are clueless and do not know what to do with them. The author gives the reader a glimpse into the world of piracy.

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The main theme of this story is the growth from childhood to adulthood.  Everyone grows up, of course, but it is always a fascinating process.  This is why there is a whole genre of coming of age stories.  This one is about a family of children growing up.

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