Giants in the Earth Essay

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In the following review, Baker notes, particularly in the character of Per Hansa, an affirmation of the Western ideas of humans possessing free will as opposed to the Eastern, deterministic outlook held by American romantic writers such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Rolvaag's Giants in the Earth is a vision of human life rich in its implications. Here the pioneer struggle with the untamed universe may serve as a symbol for the condition of man himself against inhuman Destiny. The hero, Per Hansa, is a typical man of the West, both in the regional sense that he represents our pioneer background and in the universal human sense that he embodies the independent spirit, the rationalism, and what has often been condemned as the utilitarianism of Western civilization-European mankind's determination to cherish human values against the brute force of Fate. Under the influence of German philosophy...

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This section contains 3,066 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Giants in the Earth Study Guide
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