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Word Count: 2,638
Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon is the story of a young Scottish peasant girl Chris Guthrie and her development from childhood to adulthood in the small farming village of Kinraddie The principal theme of the novel is that of change This is depicted through the eyes of Chris Guthrie whose stream of consciousness dominates the novels narrative although parts of it are written from Kinraddies perspective in the community voice The characterisation of Chris in this novel is successful as an in depth portrayal of conflicting feelings and emotions is given that readers will relate to Chris herself labels the conflicting sides of her the Scottish Chris and the English Chris The Scottish Chris loves the farm life and the land and reflects the more emotional innate side of her character given to her by her mother The other part of her the intellectual or English Chris is encouraged by her father loving books and learning and hating the crudeness and ignorance that is the farming life Despite the Scottish Chris eventually overshadowing the English Chris it is the English side to her that allows her to rise above the uncompromising gossip of the community she plays no part in the constant gossip and feels no obligation to the Kirk Also perhaps most importantly she is content with her sexuality despite bad experiences while the rest of the community view sex as shameful It is this independent thoughtfulness which sets her aside from the community She is more intelligent than them and is more aware of change around her and of consequences it inevitably brings She is thus able to look beyond the narrowness of farm life yet still feel a powerful poignant attachment to the land and respect its endurance in the face of change It is this idea that Gibbon focuses on while constructing the character of Chris in relation to the main theme of change The structure of the novel plays
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