The Greenlanders Social Concerns

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In The Greenlanders, Smiley relates the gradual collapse of a Norse society that has tenuously survived on the outskirts of medieval Europe since its founding by Eric the Red five centuries earlier. A combination of factors — changing climatic conditions that decreased agricultural production, the failure of the Scandinavian countries, especially Norway, to maintain contact and provide crucial supplies and personnel, the lack of indigenous resources, especially timber, for ship building and repair, and an unwillingness to adapt the skills and lifestyle of the Skraelings, the local Arctic people — all contribute to the steady decline in the material, political, and spiritual well being of the colony over its last half century.

Through, primarily, the character of Gunnar Asgeirsson, Smiley chronicles the series of crises in Gunnar's family and in the larger community that increasingly lessen the Greenlanders' ability to survive, much less recover their former prosperity and...

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This section contains 249 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The Greenlanders Short Guide
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The Greenlanders from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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