Change And Environment A Look At Plainsong

Kent Haruf was born and raised on the north east fields of Colorado and attended Nebraska Weslegan University and The University of Iowa. After he graduated he owned a lily-livered spread in Colorado, work at the Royal Gorge Bridge and was in the peace corps before he settled down to learn at the University of Iowa. He has had much experience in little town life, which is why his book, Plainsong is so attractively written. Haruf has first manus experience in the chitchat, play and alteration, which is so present in Plainsong. Change, and the analogues in the environment are the chief subjects in this narrative. Everyone is touched by it and affected by the alteration in everyone else’s lives that happen around them.

Guthrie and Ella’s relationship is interrupting up and Ella has desended into a atrocious depression. She ne’er leaves her room and seldom negotiations. Guthrie tries to acquire her out of her mental prison, but to no help. “Looking at her, he couldn’Ts say if she was asleep or non, but he believed she was non. He believed she was merely waiting to hear what he had come in for, and so for him to leave.”  This line shows that Ella doesn’t want to come out of her down province, that she’s non ready. When Ike and Bobbie come in to speak to her, nevertheless, she does talk to them.

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“What clip is it?

They looked at the clock on the chest of drawers. One-fourth of eight, Ike said.

You better travel. You don’t want to be tardily. She smiled a small and reached a manus toward them. Will you each give me a buss foremost?”

Her attitude differences to Ike and Bobby and Guthrie are besides reflected in her environment. Her cool feelings toward Guthrie are shown in the ambiance in her room, when he is in it. “He stood listening but there was no sound from interior. When he stepped into the room it was about dark, with a feeling of being hushed and prohibiting as in the sanctuary of an empty church after the funeral of a adult female who has died excessively shortly, a sudden feeling of inactive air and unnatural lull. The sunglasses on the two Windows were drawn down wholly to the sill.” Her feelings for Ike and Bobby are shown in the line, “After a minute she turned once more in the bed and studied the two thin pencils of light reflecting at the border of the window shade.”  We can see that Ike and Bobby are the lone felicity in her life. We besides see this in the line, “the door swung inward easy and at that place was their female parent. Yes, she said. Her voice was dry and level, without inflexion. Hello, Mother. Is something incorrect? She cupped one manus over her eyes against the bright afternoon sun.”  In that last line we see that Ike and Bobby are paralleled by the afternoon Sun. There are many other times in the novel that a character’s feelings are reflected in the environment.

Victoria Roubideaux is a 17 twelvemonth old miss, who finds out that she is pregnant. She and her female parent had a battle in the forenoon and in the eventide, after work, she starts to walk place. “The eventide wasn’t cold yet when the miss left the caf ? But the air was turning crisp with a autumn feeling of solitariness coming. Something unexplainable pending in the air.” In that line we see the prefiguration of her feelings and her female parent throwing her out of the house.

Mrs. Stearns is a scatter-brained, but underneath sort older lady. She befriends Ike and Bobby, but merely after a few times of seeking to convey them out of their silence about their female parent. Her personality is paralleled by her flat. “She shuffled back and they entered the flat. The room was excessively hot. The heat was smothering and the room crowded with all mode of things. Cardboard boxes. Documents. Hemorrhoids of apparels. Yellowed tons of newspaper. Flower pots. An hovering fan. A box fan. A chapeau rack.”  In that line we see what type of individual Mrs. Sterns is.

The relationship between Victoria and the Mc Pheron brothers is shown in the landscape of their farm. It starts out cold and desolate and by the terminal of the book it is jumping once more. “After a clip they turned east onto the gravel state route and so onto the path which led back to the old house with the rusted hogwire strung around it and the stunted elm trees standing up leafless inside the rusted wire.”  . In this line the fencing represents the emotional wall that the brothers have erected to maintain everyone out. Then Victoria comes and gives their house homey touches and they realize that they can’t maintain everyone out everlastingly. “Now the air current started up in the trees, high up, traveling the high subdivisions. The barn swallows came out and began to run leaf-bugs and lacewinged flies in the twilight. The air grew soft.”

Environment is the one thing that binds all of these characters together. They move about their separate lives, separate jobs but it all comes down to the nature that surrounds them all.


  1. Plainsong, by Kent Haruf

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Change And Environment A Look At Plainsong. (2018, May 03). Retrieved from