Giants in the Earth Essay

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In the following excerpt, Morrow discusses Rolvaag's use of and departure from tragic conventions in Giants in the Earth, a novel the critic ranks along with the great American tragedies A Farewell to Arms, The Sound and the Fury, and The Red Badge of Courage.

It's nothing but a common, ordinary romantic he that we are 'captains of our own souls" Nothing but one of those damned poetic phrases Just look back over your own life and see how much you have captained!

This statement by Ole Rolvaag, less about fate than the human error of false pride, points us in a rewarding direction for an interpretation of Giants in the Earth. Concerned with hamartia, irreconcilable values, and dramatically rising to state man's universal predicament, Rolvaag's masterpiece is fundamentally a tragedy. Henry Steele Commager [in "The Literature of the Pioneer West," Minnesota History, VIII (December, 1927)] and Vernon Loms...

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This section contains 2,325 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Giants in the Earth Study Guide
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Giants in the Earth from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.