Robert Malsberry


Any attempt to characterize the heroine, Arnarantha, must first reveal her environment. One of the most backward sections in North Carolina is the setting, and the reader is made vividly aware of this' typical "Tobacco Road" backdrop. Amarantha is a farm girl-used to farm life and used to handling animals. The simplification of her name to the harsh and ugly "Mare" fully illustrates the crudeness and coarseness she is exposed to from birth. The author emphasizes Amarantha's faulty speech traits, but the reader feels no contempt for her-s-only pity for her lack of a normal educational background. Along with the responsibility of performing many farm chores, Mare's deaf mother seems to acid a greater burden on her. The reader resents these impositions upon the girl and understands her predicament. The girl finds herself attracted to rough and crude Ruby Herter, but actually she is not capable of loving him



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