Essay analyzing "The Land of Little Rain", by Mary Austin.

Essay by pallavg December 2003

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"The Land of Little Rain", by Mary Austin.

Pallav Gupta

California, O'California, the hopeless dream, the heartbeat of the mind, filled with sorrow and broken hearts, with little help from the wind gods; where the queen of the subtle and sarcastic presides over the nature of life. Mary Austin in the essay The Land of Little Rain (1903) elaborates on the nature of life in California, seen through the heart of a lost woman trying to catch the ray of light. California is the land so inhospitable to any life. But life, by adapting to it, although to its own disadvantage, found a way and flourished.

"Void of life it never is, however dry the air and villainous the soil". Mary, the author, talks about the in-hospitability of California to life. Even though she is talking about the desert region south and east of the Sierra's, she is referring to the animosity of California, its core social nature to life, as she likes to think of, love.

Faced with all the opposition of nature, extremely diverse, and rich flora and fauna still flourish. Its not only life that is spectacular, but scenic beauty of the nature as well. "This is the nature of that country. There are hills, round, blunt, burned, squeezed up out of chaos, chrome and vermilion painted, aspiring to the snow line". This is a beautiful phrase, as if talking about people and great personalities; the author brings out the greed that drives these people and personalities to greatness. But these people are carved out of the nature of the land, and it is the ruthless, harsh environment of social chaos and competition that makes these people into what they become.

Hope and help do not exist in this land called California. "Since this...