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Romanticism In The Light In The Forest

4038 words - 16 pages

Romanticism in The Light in the Forest The story, The Light in the Forest, written by Conrad Richter, is a classic novel taking place in the 1700's. the story follows a boy who was kidnapped by Indians at the tender age of four, and was adopted and reared as an Indian for eleven years. Then the Indians signed a treaty with the whites, to release all white captives, and the boy was forced to return to his white, biological parents. The boy hated every aspect of white living, so he ran away, back to his Indian family. complications arise, forcing True Son to become stranded between both white and Indian society. This novel is based on the literary style of Romanticism in order to show conflicts between Whites and Indians during this time period. Romanticism is a concept used by authors which "...emphasizes the beauty, strangeness, and mystery of nature...[with] an emphasis upon an organic connection between the human imagination and the natural world."1This novel shows the superiority of the Indian over the White man. These conflicts can be demonstrated through the authors use of characterization, incidents and setting. There is a definite contrast in the setting of this novel between the Indian forest. While making his escape with Half Arrow, True Son and half arrow reflected on their surroundings by "opening their eyes, [as] they feasted on the richness of they Indian forest."2 Knowing that the whites would never understand the power of the Indian wilderness. The Indian forest was very abundant with life's meager necessities, and "Always... endless [the] Indian forest stood above them. When it thinned, there were the crimson Indian Hearts that white people call strawberry and the purple swords of Indian Raspberries. Fish leaped from the creek and pheasants made thunder through the trees." making them feel at home and safe in the Indian forest. True Son remembered walking through "fallen red, brown and golden leaves that lay...[on the] forest floor."(Richter 3). The forest was a part of him which he knew with certainty that he would never forget. When True Son was taken back to Pennsylvania, the beginning of the trail "lay on the path by which the boy and his father had come... It was almost as if he were going home. When they came to the parting of the trails... An ancient sycamore stood at the forks, one dead limb pointing to the long trace to Pennsylvania. On the far side, a live branch indicated the path running bright and free toward home."(Richter 11) Suddenly he realized he was not going home and he felt a great disparity in his heart. Certain places along the trail brought a wash of disgust over True Son, "here the desolate face of the earth had been exposed to dead brown weeds and stubble, lorded over by the lodges of the white people and the fat storehouses of their riches," (Richter 23) he hated the evil ways of killing the forests. True son...

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