Written by Kent Haruf, Plainsong is set in a countryside society outside of Denver, Colorado in a place called Holt. The setting of the novel is everlasting, with only the sporadic, transitory mention to VCRs or pop customs representing that the book takes place earlier to "now" than "then."
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I was having difficulty in choosing the best character as everyone has a role to play in the novel. My two best characters are Maggie and Tom Guthrie who have inspired me a lot. I like Maggie because she is helping everyone in the novel including Tom Guthrie, Victoria and the Mcpheron brothers. This is something that I would do if given a chance in life that is to help others. On the other hand Tom Guthrie is a person who is having a troubled life and he does not know what to do. But than he brings his act together and after fighting of the hardship starts to live a good life and that is why I have chosen Tom as my favorite character because life tends to have a lot of hardships and one need to face them rather than hide. The most inspiring thing about Tom Guthrie's character is that what he does in the novel is showing everyone how to live in today's world by facing all the problems and that is something that I intend to do by living a troubled free life by facing all my fears.
In the Novel Plainsong, Tom Guthrie is not only a good father but also a good teacher but he is bumping into relentless difficulties in both of his roles. It would be entirely erroneous to look Tom Guthrie's present frenzied life as part of a mid-life calamity. Something which inspired me the most is even with the crisis he is not confused and knows exactly what he wants to do at home and also at work. He wants to continue being a good father and also a good teacher.
When home, Tom Guthrie tries to provide a good life for his two sons Bobby and Ike. This is being damaged by his absent wife. At the start she is absent emotionally when she moves into the guestroom where she stays there day and night and later she is absent physically when she moves into a rented house and later she moves out of town.
From the very beginning of the novel Tom is show as a disturbed man as he separates from his wife and the mother of his two sons. The biggest situation arises in the novel when Tom is involved with a failing student. Bobby and Ike become sufferers of their father's dilemma with that student and in person views key problem like sex, aggression and murder in their community. They run a paper route, are interested in baking cookies and at the same time like to ride horses. At the same time they almost intentionally look for a calm, toughened, cowboy intellect of development. There relationship takes a turn at the end and Tom makes it better. The way he is living even with all the troubles he has had in the beginning of the novel is what is most inspiring. He is showing us that this is how we should live by facing all the fears. Most people would have committed suicide or started drinking but that is not what Tom does. He is not bringing his school problems to his home and his home problems to school but when he is about to he realizes it and sees all his problems through and starts to live a troubled free life. This is something which is very inspiring to me because nowadays with all the hectic days in school and work people tend to mix it up which causes a lot of problems.
Plainsong changes from chapter to chapter like a more direct Faulkner, though the writing style is no less graceful and reminiscent. Throughout this contrivance, Haruf shows how relationships are created and what makes them to last for a very long time, how accountability and responsibility make people better, and how support can make a small community tough in times of inconsistency. A quick, heartening, instructive read, Plainsong is stunning, genuine, and astute and can be termed as a proper great American novel.