Lewis Grassic Gibbon's Sunset Song (1932)

Great Essays
Lewis Grassic Gibbon was the pseudonym of James Leslie Mitchell (1901-1935). Born of peasant ancestry, Gibbon was an active socialist and writer at work during the Scottish Renaissance of the early to mid twentieth century alongside such contemporaries as Neil M. Gunn (1891-1973) and Hugh MacDiarmid (1892-1978). The author 's careful employment of stream-of-consciousness technique, the Scots idiom and social realism have marked this particular text out as one of the most innovative and defining works of the period. Furthermore, it could be argued that the novel has become one of the most important books in the history of Scottish literature. Subsequently, Sunset Song (1932) is now one of the most popular Scottish novels of all time. In addition to this, we know from Gibbon 's response to the Writers ' International statement (1934) cited in Johnson (2005, p.117), which proposed that Britain 's economy and culture were in a state of 'terminal decay ', that the author considered all of his work to be …show more content…
The character of Ewan Tavendale is almost unrecognisable upon his visit back to his wife Chris. He is scarred by war, as is Chris (and all those left at home) by approximation. This is perhaps best depicted in the sexual encounters between him and his wife. Prior to going to war, on the night of the wedding, their union is described as them becoming 'one flesh ' (Gibbon, 1932, p.168). In stark contrast, upon his return, his behaviour is brutal and culminates in sexual violence. Johnson (2005, p.148) points out that Chris 's response to this is to 'harden her feelings towards Ewan '. This change in Chris 's character could be said to be a further example of how the novel is in some way an example of bildungsroman. We bear witness as Chris grows from a young girl, into womanhood and then motherhood, independent of her abusive husband and deceased

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