Sunset Song is the first book in a trilogy, collectively entitled 'A Scots Quair'. The trilogy can be seen as representing the development of Scottish social history in the early twentieth century. Sunset Song is based on a peasant community who make their living from the land. However, by the end of the novel, the land has been impoverished by the war, and people are less willing to do the hard manual labour required. The novel follows the character of Chris Guthrie, from girlhood to being a young widow with a child, contemplating her second marriage to the new minister, Robert Colquhoun, the son of the old man who had so impressed her with his sermon on The Golden Age.
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A Scots Quair. Uwe Zagratzki, prof. It is the first of its kind at our department and hopefully it will inspire more to come in the near future. Features of the language in Cloud Howe and Grey Granite. Though Lewis Grassic Gibbon presented rather anti-religious attitudes during his life, it is worth mentioning that he recognised the Bible as a literary source.
The reason for which Gibbon used stylistic means of the Bible may be simple. He wanted to attract his readers' attention and many of them were common, religious people. Here are some of the biblical literary devices which can be found in Cloud Howe :. Generic you. Self-referring you. Similarly to what was presented in , both Cloud Howe and Grey Granite do not have one consistent mode of narration. The narrative voice is not straightforward, shifting, but not obtrusively, back and forth from a tight focus on Chris — or on occasion someone else — to an unnamed figure of a conservative bent.
Significantly, the speaker using this device might be left unnamed which emphasises its generic nature. You had never much liked the spinners, but the things that were happening near turned you sick, it was kicking in the faces of the poor for no more than delight in hearing the scrunch of their bones. Moreover, in Grey Granite Gibbon uses the fragmented urban voice:. And all Craigneuks read the news with horror, every word of it, chasing it from the front page to the lower half of page five, where it was jammed in between an advertisement curing Women with Weakness and another curing superfluous hair; and whenever Craigneuks came on a bit of snot it breathed out Uhhhhhhhhhhhh!
And it said weren't those Footforthie keelies awful? Something would have to be done about them. The housekeeper simpered and said she was sure, that must have been why the last War had happened, those coarse brutes the Germans and Frenchies, like, had had hardly an army to their name, would it be, and that was why the war had broke out?
Bailie Brown said it was that damn fool the Chief Constable, why hadn't he kept enough bobbies on hand? The workers were all right, though misled by the Reds, if they'd trusted their natural leaders, like himself, they wouldn't be in the pickle they were in, drowning a foreman that had aye been a right good Labour man, and throwing pepper in the bobbies' eyes.
They should wait till the next Labour Government came The Chief Constable said it was that bloody Inspector, he'd told him to look out for trouble at Gowans.
Pepper flung in the eyes of the men--by God, you'd find it revolver-shots next. Gibbon presents different attitudes towards life from different perspectives, by changing the style of writing, by giving voice to the people from different backgrounds:. She represents a modern and feminist voice in the book, the voice which casts doubts on the purpose of religion or social conventions, therefore she is often criticised by people from Segget; she is also more open when it comes to her sexuality:.
You'll see him in hell soon enough with yourself. I wouldn't poison my kye with such dirt! Who's a fool? Change of the narrative. We can experience a dramatic change in the narrative in Grey Granite. Previously in the Sunset Song and Cloud Howe , the story was mostly told from the viewpoint of Chris and was strongly based on the nature of Kinraddie and Segget.
In Grey Granite , the narrative is split into views of many, also from different social classes. This could symbolise that the people's voice of Scotland was breaking up into many different individuals.
As a result, this puts an emphasis on the single members of the society rather than a collective group, symbolizing that the community can no longer speak with one voice. Techniques used by the author to grasp his readers' attention are:. The usage of the word 'Faith! The quiet would have been fell solemn, but for a great car that came swishing up, from the south, and turned, and went up East Wynd.
This word seems to be used also as a tool to attract the reader's attention. The expression is used by the narrator when the story is told from the perspective of the folk. It is never used when Chris, Robert or Ewan speak. Generally speaking, Gibbon does not follow the conventional way of marking dialogues in the text. In his two novels in question the dialogues are:.
In short, the narration would suggest that conversations were dynamic and from thought to thought, and sentences were usually long with a small amount of punctuation marks. For example:. Have a good time. Symbolism in Cloud Howe and Grey Granite. In general terms, the nature, of which was not much in Duncarin, symbolised Chris's longing for a piece of the past she had lost.
This was particularly noticeable during her spontaneous trip to the countryside. The place she arrived at reminded her of Kinraddie; of the fields, crops, and omnipresent honeysuckle that she loved so much:. She was astonished by the resemblance of this place to the one she will never return to. It would seem that Chris still looked for a place like the Standing Stones or the ruins; a place that she could just go to and ponder in peace and quiet.
Those places could symbolise a number of things. One of those could be the fact that everything changes and nothing is permanent, be it a living place, surroundings, communities or political systems. Moreover, in both Cloud Howe and Grey Granite , nature, and more particularly clouds, are used as a means to portray some of the author's specific feelings. On the one hand, they are used to convey particular ideologies connected with Scotland, but on the other they are a device used to symbolise either the current situation within various peoples' lives e.
Chris's and Ewan's , or to foreshadow what was to come later in the story. Symbolism of clouds. The names of the chapter headings in Cloud Howe can be interpreted in connection to what is happening in the story but more importantly these four types of clouds represent the dreams of the main characters.
They are the ideologies that people try to follow. Chris is very sceptical about believing in everlasting ideologies that would always fail:. Cloud Howe ; Stratus p. Cirrus cloud is a member of the ten fundamental cloud types or cloud genera and are wispy white high-altitude cloud formations occurring between about 5 to 13km 16, to 40,ft. In fact, they are the highest of the main cloud genera.
Cirrus clouds are mentioned at the beginning of Cloud Howe:. They bring fine weather and they're standing still. There's little wind on the heights today. The base of each cloud is often flat and may be only meters feet above the ground.
The top of the cloud has rounded towers. When the top of the cumulus resembles the head of a cauliflower, it is called cumulus congestus or towering cumulus. These clouds grow upward, and they can develop into a giant cumulonimbus, which is a thunderstorm cloud. These clouds are mentioned by Chris in chapter Cumulus:. Robert said Cumulus; just summer rain; and a minute later-- Look, here it comes! They are the lowest clouds and sometimes appear at ground level in the form of mist or fog.
Stratus clouds are a fairly uniform grey or white colour and may be accompanied by drizzle, snow or snow grains. If there are no other clouds above the layer of stratus cloud, the sun or moon may shine through. Low clouds are primarily composed of water droplets since their bases generally lie below 6, feet 2, meters. However, when temperatures are cold enough, these clouds may also contain ice particles and snow.
Nimbus clouds are introduced at the end of Stratus. They foreshadow the changes that are about to come:. Better, and take him out of himself, Ewan would help, maybe Segget even yet She rose slow to her feet and smiled at herself, for that weakness that followed her when she stood up, with the drowse of the June day a moment a haze of little floating specks in her eyes.
Then that cleared, and a cold little wind came by, she looked up and saw a thickening of clouds, rain-nimbus driving down upon Segget. To give a few examples of classic ways clouds had been used as symbols:. Thick, black clouds from which, as the narrator said, freezing rain was about to pour, began to cover the sky after Chris had left the doctor's office. She thought to herself that, just like polar bears do, she ought to hibernate through the chaos her life has become, but at the same time the cold rain reminded her of her first time meeting Ake Ogilive six months ago; she thought of him as something rough, and yet pure:.
An overcast evening. Even though the clouds and the imminent danger of rain were present, in the end it was to be a pleasant situation, foreshadowed mostly by the fact that the rain was warm and not thick. Ellen and Ewan just barely managed to escape a downpour. After the rain's intensity has lowered, they decided to take a walk on the beach. Ewan tried to convince Ellen to go for a swim. Even though she was a woman who had a rational and logical way of thinking, she is taken over by her feelings and jumps after Ewan.
As they were both naked and enjoying their company in the water, Ewan noticed a bright light moving on the shore. It happened so that it was a person with a lamp; Ewan thought it was a thief and jumped onto him. Unfortunately, he attacked a police officer, who after returning their clothes attempted to arrest them.
Ewan managed to hit him with an elbow and together with Ellen they broke free. They ran away surrounded by their own laughter and surprisingly warm rain. Robert's last sermon. Robert's last sermon was very much different from all of his sermons.
A Scots Quair
A Scots Quair is a trilogy by the Scottish writer Lewis Grassic Gibbon , describing the life of Chris Guthrie, a woman from the north-east of Scotland during the early 20th century. The first is widely regarded as an important classic voted Scotland's favourite book in a poll supported by the Scottish Book Trust and other organisations   but opinions are more varied about the other two. The central character is a young woman, Chris Guthrie, growing up in a farming family in the fictional Estate of Kinraddie in The Mearns Kincardineshire in north-east Scotland at the start of the 20th century. Life is hard, and her family is dysfunctional. Cloud Howe continues the story of Chris Guthrie. She marries for a second time to Robert Colquhoun, a Church of Scotland minister.
A Scots Quair: Sunset Song, Cloud Howe, Grey Granite
A Scots Quair. Uwe Zagratzki, prof. It is the first of its kind at our department and hopefully it will inspire more to come in the near future. Features of the language in Cloud Howe and Grey Granite. Though Lewis Grassic Gibbon presented rather anti-religious attitudes during his life, it is worth mentioning that he recognised the Bible as a literary source. The reason for which Gibbon used stylistic means of the Bible may be simple. He wanted to attract his readers' attention and many of them were common, religious people.