Pastures of Heaven - Key Terms
Ancestry: Prominent settlers in The Pastures of Heaven are committed to creating a lasting family legacy, especially the Whitesides. That dream is crushed by encroaching modernity, however, as members of the younger generation, represented by Bill Whiteside, abandon the rural farm to seek their fortune in the city.
Husbandry: Farming and nurturing the land is an important concept in The Pastures of Heaven. Careful cultivation of crops is a critical element for each family's survival.
Self Deception: Most of the characters in The Pastures of Heaven live with self-imposed blinders. They see only what they want to see. The consequences of choosing not to recognize the reality of their circumstances are often disastrous as the characters' hopes and ambitions are shattered.
Urbanization: The Pastures of Heaven is an isolated rural world that seems on the verge of extinction. Many members of the community desert, most often for the city, for one reason or another. The newer, savvy generation in particular, represented by Mae and Jimmy Munroe and Bill Whiteside, desire to seek their fortunes in the city. The rural farm was in a precarious position at the turn of the twentieth century as modern industrial agriculture was quickly replacing the small family farm and more and more people were forced into cities to earn a livelihood.