Essay on The War Of The Ashes Of Fire

1422 Words Dec 17th, 2015 6 Pages
Out of the ashes of fire, new life may yet emerge. Fire, so closely associated with destruction, is a large part of E.L Doctorow’s novel, The March, in which the bloody civil war of America threatens to result in the complete decimation of civilization on both sides. Fire was the main tool used to reduce the landscape of a region to nothingness. But fire does not only symbolize the destruction of a physical landscape to nothingness, it also extinguishes with it the very identity and cultures of the region. Out of this barren land a new civilization is formed. One that consists of those cautiously entering the new world, those searching for their place, and those who wish to return to the past. As Union troops march and burn their way across the South under Genera Sherman, the lives and changes of a diverse group of individuals are detailed by E.L Doctorow. Pearl, an illegitimate child of her master John Jameson, struggles to find her place in the changing world after being freed. Colonel Sartorius is shown as a man whose work as a surgeon has left him seemingly numb and impassionate to society. Arly is a Confederate soldier who uses his ingenuity to switch identities throughout the war multiple times to survive. Mattie Jameson is a rich Southern women who finds her role oddly reversed when she is cared for by her former slave, Pearl, who she had once treated so horribly. Mattie cannot cope with the changing society and wants nothing more than to return to the life she knew…

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