In the American Grain - Pére Sebastian Rasles Summary & Analysis

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Summary

This essay is in the form of a dialog between Williams and Valéry Larbaud, a writer that Williams meets within a six-week trip to France. Larbaud knows the primary source materials of American history better than Williams himself. “But he is a student while I am – the brutal thing itself.” Williams is saying that the French are intellectual and observant, but the American is active and immediate while also uninformed.

Williams believes that the basis for moral and psychic American identity lies in the nation's beginnings – not just the Puritans but the lesser known characters like Pére Rasles, Thomas Morton, and especially the Native Americans themselves. “There is a source in America for everything we think and do,” Williams writes. The early records teach the nation's history and morality, and explain American actions today. Williams contends that Americans are “unstudied” – to their own...

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This section contains 552 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the In the American Grain Study Guide
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