“Under the Lion’s Paw” by Hamlin Garland reveals how depression can cloud the normal thought process, and allow a person to become complacent. Tim Haskins lost everything that he had through no fault of his own, but Steve Council befriends him, builds up his confidence, and assumes the role of protector. Because Haskins trusted Mr. Council; he was able acquire a farm, but he may have trusted blindly.
Friendship and trust was what awaited Tim Haskins as he happened onto the farm of Steve Council on a cold winter’s night. The old farmer Mr. Council had no misgivings about allowing Mr. Haskins and his family to spend the night under his roof. After learning of the family’s misfortune Mr. Council adopted the whole family, giving Mr. and Mrs. Haskins a renewed outlook on life. Mr. Council a longtime resident of the prairie farmland region was well known to all. He was able to speak with the local land holder Mr. Baker, whom he persuaded into renting Mr. Haskins a dilapidated farm. He not only got the Haskins into the farm; he got Mr. Baker to allow them to stay at a very reasonable price.
In order to repay the kindness of Mr. Council, Haskins was extremely ambitious in organizing the farm. Because of his arduous work and the close friendship with Steve Council, Tim Haskins gained the respect of his neighbors. Mr. Haskins began renovations on the farm house, barn and fence. He worked hard intending to make this farm his home. The author shows the reader that the broken family has regained their worth as he writes, “… new hope … sprang up in the heart” (743) of Mr. Haskins and his family as they admired their wheat crop with renewed confidence. Haskins was ready to purchase the farm, but his confidence may be his undoing.
Unfortunately greed can overpower good, and this is exactly what happens to Mr. Baker as he surveys the farm. His mind instantly started the process of calculating the worth of the farm, the profit that could be gained. All fairness to the sacrifices made by Mr. Haskins was forgotten, Baker increases the rental and mortgage price. Mr. Haskins mistake...