The Sculptors Funeral

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2002

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

The tasteless society of America, never looking beyond the outer shell of its' citizens. This is the life that Willa Cather decided to write about in "The Sculptor's Funeral". Cather does a magnificent job of showing how society will look down on the necessary but minor things in life, or Harvey Merrik. It must take personal insight to show the true meaning of every person. She show's how beauty and art actually have a place in the business world. Willa demonstrates how great people overcome great obstacles, and states how prophets are not recognized in their hometown. These are all shown in "The Sculptor's Funeral".

Beauty and art will always have a place in the business world. Today, if you see a beautiful house or a beautiful building, it is because someone makes a living off of beautifying the world. Without these people and their work-place the world would be dull very un-interesting.

The sculptures that Harvey produces make the world more attractive, but also make him misunderstood. The artists today still make a living off of putting beauty into the workplace. This is a very strong point wanting to be made by Willa.

Although not always demonstrated, great persons have overcome great obstacles.

Harvey had to overcome his childhood and the belittlement of his whole town to become the respected person in his new life. Cather herself overcame large obstacles. Being born in the hills of West Virginia, she supported herself through college and became an outstanding writer. Another example is Martin Luther King Jr. who overcame the reality of death to become the most respected speaker in history. Great people do not always overcome great obstacles. Many people are born into great families and pick that up as a personality trait and themselves become great people. As with the rest of the story Willa is really trying to make the reader understand her point.

I can't agree with the concept that prophets are never honored in their own town.

Although I disagree with the statement, Harvey Merrik is a prophet of self-establishment and the hardships everyone goes through, and is still not recognized in his hometown.

These prophets may not be recognized while they are living, but after their death and when the importance of their life has time to sink in, they are honored. Again, Martin Luther King was much hated during his life and public ministry but is now, after his death, well known and even has a day in his honor. Although this idea of hometown honor is important to some, the idea of effecting just one person is a large accomplishment in today's world.

Never looking beyond the outer shell of its' citizens are we, the self-centered society of the world. This is the message of individuality that Willa Cather wrote about in "The Sculptor's Funeral". She displays societies idolatry of outer beauty than what is on the inside or importance of a human, as with Harvey Merrik. This is why you can't judge someone by their public interests or how they do or don't conform to society. Willa reveals to us that beauty and art will always have a place in the business world. Cather shows how prophets are not recognized in their hometown, and illustrates how great people overcome great obstacles. Willa Cather displays those main character flaws in "The Sculptor's Funeral".