Literary Precedents for All Creatures Great and Small

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All Creatures Great and Small uses many devices from both fiction and nonfiction. The complexity of the older narrator recalling his youth is reflected in most autobiographies and in the Marlow stories of Joseph Conrad (Lord Jim [1900], Heart of Darkness [1902], The Secret Sharer [1912]). The encounter between the city man and the country people is a crux of nineteenth-century American Southwest humor, although the American city man's attitude and motive are much different from Herriot's. The English view that such differing cultures create differences in human nature was pioneered by Sir Walter Scott in the novel Waverly (1814). George Eliot portrays nineteenth-century rural England with more measured calmness and less variety of mood in Adam Bede (1859) and Silas Marner (1861).

The pastoral tradition of poetry, which pleased city dwellers of the Renaissance, provides quite a contrast with Herriot's Dales, which please modern suburbanites. Pastoral shepherds and maidens were a relief from...

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This section contains 192 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the All Creatures Great and Small Study Guide
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