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Tragic Ground

1 rating: 3.0
Erskine Caldwell

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Author: Erskine Caldwell
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
Date Published: 1944
1 review about Tragic Ground

"You're gone from me...tragedy." Song lyrics

  • Sep 4, 2012
Dusting off the top of  "Tragic Ground" I found a novel that was interesting to re-read.

"Tragic Ground" is an example of the naturalistic style of American Literature where the character is placed in a situation beyond their control and the situation dictates the story.

Written in 1944, the story tells of Spence Douthit who moved from Beasley County to a Southern community to work, during WWII.

After the war ended, the factory closed up and jobs were scarce. Many people didn't even have the bus fare to get back to their original homes.

Spence has two daughters, Libby, age twenty, and Mavis, age thirteen. Libby has a job and a boyfriend who is about to be discharged from a military hospital. Mavis sees the situation at home and knows it isn't for her. She becomes attracted to boys and having a good time.

Since Libby met a man with money and prospects, Spence gets the idea of fixing Mavis up with a wealthy man to marry. Spence feels this would answer the family's financial difficulties.

The writing is in the style of the day with sparse detail and good, descriptive dialogue.  I found the story to be interesting and compare it to Theodore Dreiser's "An American Tragedy."

I also found that reading how little Spence had, would make most readers appreciate the things they have and wish to do well for others.

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