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Eplore the success of Chris Guthrie in Sunset Song

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Lewis Watson Question 7 Lewis Grassic Gibbon's "Sunset Song" features the hugely successful main character Chris Guthrie. Chris is a successful as a character because she is convincing and believable. She effectively gains the sympathies, through her warm and vital personality and her development throughout the novel. At the beginning of the novel Chris is a young girl. She is completely innocent and unaware in her attitude towards sex: "kissed her with kind, red lips...it was over in a moment, quick and shameful, fine for all that, tingling and strange". She doesn't fully understand the appeal of kissing but feels it. Chris sexual development is tracked from her innocent youth, through the confusion and experience of adolescence, until her sexual development ends with her marriage and sexual relationship with Ewan. ...read more.


Her immediate family's views are distorted concerning sex and she has to struggle to make her own choices: her father is conflicted between sexual desire and the sin of sex and her mother has developed a fear of sex and childbirth. Because of her isolation, Gibbon is able to successfully explore human experience and sexuality through Chris. The development of mature, fixed views towards sex makes her an attractive character to the reader. Chris is more intelligent than both her parents. During her child she is successful in education. She is also greatly encouraged by her father who wishes her to pursue a professional career. However Chris was born into the peasant way of life and like her mother has strong emotional connection to the land: "there are better things than your studies...there's the countryside your own, you its, in the days when you're neither bairn nor woman". ...read more.


In the end she chooses the land: she is unable to ignore her emotional connection with the land, and her marriage to Ewan ties her to the peasant lifestyle. Her conflict creates a reflective, appealing character and evokes the reader's sympathies. Gibbon's "gossipy" narrative style creates a fluid storytelling style. This makes Chris' development process progressive and ever changing. It creates intricate storyline and flows around Chris as a central character. It maintains the reader's interest in Chris' story and shows that Chris is not static but a vivid and spirited character. Gibbon's novel is divided into four sections, the four parts of the farming years: Ploughing, Drilling, Seedtime and Harvest. This is symbolic of Chris' development and change. It shows the reader that her development is related to the process of working the land. Chris is shown to be a completely human and dynamic character. ...read more.

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