How Lewis Grassic Gibbon uses characters to show the themes of his book "Sunset Song"

Essay by needherricknowHigh School, 12th gradeF, October 2003

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Sunset Song, by Lewis Grassic Gibbon is a book about the social changes that took place during the early 1900's that resulted in the demise of the old Scottish crofters. John Guthrie is the father of the main character, Chris and he represents the death of the old way of life. John Guthrie was a very proud character who fought a battle against the land, the gentry and the new way of life that meant that crofters like himself had to work on bigger farms where they were forced to pay higher rent. He also shows Lewis Grassic Gibbons' dislike against religion.

In Sunset Song John Guthrie's marriage with Jean is a good one but later on it fall on hard times and ends when Jean poisons her self and her baby twins as she had found out she was pregnant again. Dod and Alec, Chris' younger brothers are sent to Aberdeen to stay with their Aunt and Uncle because of taunting at school.

John Guthrie is then left with only Chris and Will to look after. The relationship between he and his son was already bad but after the death of Jean Guthrie it deteriorates further and Will ends up leaving the farm. Later, with only Chris to help him, John Guthrie suffers a stroke that leaves him paralysed in bed and stays there until he dies.

The marriage of John and Jean Guthrie is a good example of Gibbon's dislike of religion. It was John Guthrie's beliefs that ruined the marriage and resulted in Jean Guthrie's suicide. His mother who had been "fell religious" had brought up John Guthrie to be extremely strict over religion. John Guthrie fell to temptation because of Jean as he kept on having sex with her. Because of this she...