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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 219

At the heart of American Pastoral is the conflict created within the United States by the Vietnam War. Write an essay explaining how the United States got involved in the war, why the war created such opposition at home, and what the eventual outcome was. In what ways does the...

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At the heart of American Pastoral is the conflict created within the United States by the Vietnam War. Write an essay explaining how the United States got involved in the war, why the war created such opposition at home, and what the eventual outcome was. In what ways does the Vietnam War still affect the United States today?

Roth is sometimes accused of misogyny. What roles do the women play in American Pastoral? Are they presented sympathetically or with hostility? Examine the roles of Merry, Dawn, and Jessie Orcutt. Are they positive or negative figures? Does Merry have any redeeming qualities? Write an essay on the topic.

Form a group with three other students. Discuss why teenagers sometimes rebel against their parents. What values do you not share with those of your parents’ generation? Make a class presentation that shows the issues underlying generational conflicts such as the ones you have discussed in your small group.

Investigate race relations in the United States. What conditions produced the riots in the Watts area of Los Angeles; in Newark, New Jersey; and in Detroit during the 1960s? How were those issues addressed by the authorities? Have race relations in this country improved since the 1960s? What issues remain and how should they be approached? Make a class presentation on your findings.

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