Study Guide

Angle of Repose Technology and Modernization

By Wallace Stegner

Technology and Modernization

Spanning from the early days of the Wild West to the rollicking 1970s, Angle of Repose is a firsthand lesson in the development of the modern era. We see the Industrial Age, which transforms rural America into a manufacturing behemoth. We see the rise of suburbia, which moves the country even further away from its farmland roots. And that's just scratching the surface. Although Lyman Ward isn't exactly enthused about all of these changes, his snarky attitude helps us better understand the consequences of modernization.

Questions About Technology and Modernization

  1. How does Oliver contribute to the modernization of America?
  2. Does Lyman like modern American culture? Why or why not?
  3. In what ways do Shelly and Rodman represent modern America?
  4. What does Lyman mean when he says that being a "modern" and "one-legged" man are similar?

Chew on This

Although Lyman criticizes modernization in all of its forms, his beloved grandpa was one of its chief architects, even if he didn't realize it at the time.

In many ways, Rodman and Shelly represent everything Lyman hates in 1970 about the new generation: their radical politics, their free-spirited nature, and their absolute rejection of everything that came before them.

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