Genesis Summary
Wallace Stegner

Everything you need to understand or teach Genesis by Wallace Stegner.

  • Genesis Summary & Study Guide
  • 5 Student Essays
  • 15 Literature Criticisms
  • 1 Short Guide
  • ...and more

Genesis Summary

In this rite-of-passage story, nineteen-year-old Englishman Lionel Cullen—called "Rusty" for his red hair— passes into adulthood. The rite-of-passage theme differs from the coming-ofage theme by focusing on one key event that marks the transition into adulthood.

In Genesis, the rite of passage is a twoweek cattle drive through three terrible blizzards. At the beginning of the story, Rusty is a somewhat spoiled young man, looking for fun and adventure as a Canadian cowboy. After only a day of work, he realizes that riding herd is not an adventure; it is just grueling work. Later, he contemplates what he might be doing instead of exhausting himself in painful labors. He could be going to Oxford University or sailing in a harbor while jeering at working sailors. He traveled to Canada over the objections of his family; like a spoiled child, he became more stubborn the more his...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The Genesis Study Pack contains:

Genesis Short Guide