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Word Count: 554
In its first sentence the novel establishes the kind of symbolism it will use The little town of Hanover was trying not to be blown away the narration opens personifying the impersonal by positioning the town to stand for its inhabitants As the incarnated spirit of the settlers Hanover struggles to stay anchored in the prairie wind Much of the novels opening section titled The Wild Land dedicates itself to a description and more importantly to a characterization of the land setting personified forces and entities into conflict with each other The force of nature is so powerful that it can overwhelm the efforts of settlers In this newly-settled country the record of the plow was insignificant like the feeble scratches on stone left by prehistoric races so indeterminate that they may after all be only the markings of glaciers and not a record of human strivings The mark of man upon the land becomes indistinguishable from the marks of natures own processes The dying John Bergson remarks that this is a land hostile to cultivation Its Genius was unfriendly to man Similarly Carl Linstrum believes that the land wanted to be let alone to preserve its own fierce strength its peculiar savage kind of beauty its uninterrupted mournfulness Carls musing seems as much a description of himself as of the Nebraska prairie The land has its own character but it also reflects the emotions and personalities of the people who interact with it the dying John Bergson calls the land unfriendly to man and the melancholy Carl believes that the land wanted to be left alone Similarly when Alexandra becomes upset that Carl is leaving the Divide she looks out over the prairie and sees a country empty and mournful In the light of her epiphany however Alexandra sees the land as beautifuland rich and strong and glorious By the force of her will she is able to tame the same spirit of the
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