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Word Count: 1,501
Robert Graves an English poet and author once said There is no money in poetry but then there is no poetry in money either Seabrook For many that must write paint sculpture and create the road to great wealth and material gain is non-existent The journey for those artists is to hold true to their dreams and express themselves through their artistic endeavors In growing up on the Nebraskan prairies Willa Cather sees and feels the conflict between the quest for materialism money and great wealth and the artistic values embodied in Eastern cities She often uses and writes about this conflict in her short stories and novels In one such short story The Sculptors Funeral the conflict between the quest for materialism and remaining true to ones artistic values is reflected among the townspeople and characters of Sand City Kansas Cather consistently wrote stories that were value centered and whose characters were good and were true to their callings She agonizes over what she sees as a general sellout to materialism--in the realm of art in the small town in the city The Sculptors Funeral is about the return in death of a world-renowned sculptor to the pinched little prairie town from which he somehow miraculously sprang Arnold 1076 The dead sculptor who is being returned to his hometown in Kansas is Harvey Merrick The first time a person reads The Sculptors Funeral he or she often thinks that the tragedy is the loss of the life of the sculptor but that is not the case Harvey Merrick is not the tragic figure of the story for he thanks to a timid father who sensed something special about this one son managed to escape destruction He became the artist he was destined to be in spite of his unlikely beginnings The money-grubbing first citizens of Sand City can wag their tongues feebly over his corpse but they cannot touch him or detract from
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