You all may remember my group presentation where I talked about Vietnam and how The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant were directly influenced by it. I'd like to expand on that a little.
Steven Donaldson manages to put the American frustration with how the world is going into a single character. I really feel like that is what Thomas Covenant is: frustration with a reality that is rotting around him. It is this frustration, this essential frustration that keeps him from enjoying his release from his Hell. He refuses to accept this better world as real because he's convinced that he's dreaming (which, to be fair, he kind of is). This can be related to people in the 70's not buying into the "Fight the Commies" line that had served since the late 50's, since the reality was that American youths were dying for a pissing match with the USSR, and gas prices were skyrocketing, and pretty much no one was happy with how things were going.