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"The Sculptor's Funeral"

By: Willa Cather

Aliyah Batie

on 18 September 2012

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Transcript of "The Sculptor's Funeral"

The Sculptor's Funeral By: Willa Cather Aliyah Batie
Pd . 1 Harvey Merrick grew up in a small town called “Sand City” where everyone was pushed towards a job and money. Sand City Willa Cather presents social issues, like how people who live in small towns can try to limit a persons future and problems within families, through characters like Jim, Steavens, and Annie, and also through naturalism. Their society is corrupt. Jim Laird uses the “infinite you” when describing the society as a whole saying, most of the men they were proud of turned to drinking and died “Because you drummed nothing but money and knavery into their ears from the time they wore of knickerbockers” (9.) More specifically to the family “Because you carped away at them...holding our friends Phelps and Elder up to them for their models, as our grandfathers held up George Washington and John adams” (9.) Its not the easiest thing living up to everyone else's standards and expectations, especially if one has a different perspective of life. Harvey had values which differed from his close ones. He moved out east opposed to staying in Kansas, and helping his father with the farm. Steavens enlightens the family with words said to him by Harvey, which were “It’s not a pleasant place to be lying while the world is moving and doing and battering...but it rather seem as though we ought to go back to the place we came from in the end” (8.) He’s saying himself that this small town he came from is not a pleasant place to live.
Everyone else thinks he should not have become an artist or gone out east.
Phelps, the lawyer, says “What harve needed, of all people, was a course in some first-class Kansas City Business College” (8.)
Phelps is not honoring him for being independent, he’s badgering him saying, he was not very intelligent. NATURALISM Her work showed dark harshness in Harvey’s life. His mother, Annie, was extremely cruel. The narrator states, “His mother made his life a hell for him when he lived at home; he was so sick ashamed of it” (5.)
Harvey disliked violent emotion His mother abused the maid for forgetting to make dressing for the chicken salad. Human Vice Many people of the town turned to drinking. Jim Laird was a "drunkard" Jim: "The brightest lawyer you ever turned out, after he had come home from the university as straight as a die, take to drinking and forge a check and shoot himself" (9.) Mr. Thomas's son was shot in a gambling house. The cattleman stated, "Forty's young for a Merrick to cash in; they usually hang on pretty well. probably he helped it along with whisky" (8.) The citizens were greedy and all wanted money. They all envied Harvey for getting out of the town and focusing on his self. The people of the town looked down on him. Human Character "And yet you'll stand up and throw mud at Harvey Merrick, whose soul you couldn't dirty and whose hands you couldn't tie" (10.) Harvey's sister was "weeping silently." She wasn't truly apathetic. Mr. Merrick was ashamed of his wife's grief.
"He went slowly up to the coffin....seeming so pained and embarrassed by his wife's orgy of grief that he had no consciousness of anything else" (4.)
"He did not even glance toward the coffin, but continued to look at her with a dull, frightened, appealing expression," (4.) More human character Steavens Harvey Very sincere. Stevens showed grief after Harvey died.
"I think I'll see whether i can get a little air. The room is so close i am beginning to feel rather faint" (5.) Harvey was described as an oyster: a shy quiet person. "All this raw, biting ugliness had been the portion of the man whose tastes were refined, beyond the limits of the reasonable--whose mind was an exhaustless gallery of beautiful impressions, and so sensitive" (6.)
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