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sculptor's funeral

Society molds the road that a man decides to take in life. Man is affected by the pressures of his surroundings, and his direction in life is determined by the people of higher influence. “The Sculptor’s Funeral” by Willa Cather clearly demonstrates the influence that people can have on a man’s life. The story is set in a town where a man’s worth is determined by his economic status and achievement. What is expected of the men in the town hinders the quest for individuality. Harvey Merrick was the only man with the fortitude to attempt to escape the bitter judgment of the town. His accomplishments in life weren’t based upon wealth, and his view on life wasn’t shaded by the yearning to fit into the mold that the town had created for a “great” man to fit into. Yet, he was still criticized by his family and his greatness remained unacknowledged. Jim Laird’s effort to break away from the town’s influence was soon brought to an end. With the demands from his family to be a successful lawyer, he was coerced into returning to where he came from. Instead of living the life of his choice, he ends up as a scam lawyer and dies as a crook. Like the rest of the to! wn, Jim was drawn into the bitterness that pushed Harvey away. He tried to conceal his shame in his red beard but his feeling of resentment couldn’t be hidden. Although Harvey didn’t conform to the standards of the town like Jim had done, his life was still affected. Even in death, the strains he had to bear in life were evident. It was as if he was still holding onto his dignity and pride as an artist. His life was nothing but constant put downs that attacked his career. He struggled to hold on to the honor that he had created for himself. Harvey knew what judgment awaited him when his casket would be brought back to this home, and his return home was almost an act of defiance. In his casket his “chin was thrust forward defiantly” as if t...

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sculptor's funeral . (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 02:54, November 01, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/60188.html