The story “The sculptor Funeral’’ is about the funeral of Harvey Merrick who unlike the people of his town who are driven by greed chooses a different life and becomes a teacher in another town. Most of the people in his town view him as a failure. Many forms of critical approaches can be used to analyze this story. This paper has concentrated in two critical approaches in analyzing this work of literature the two are Marxist criticism and the reader response criticism.
The story “the sculptor’s funeral has demonstrated perfectly the Marxist criticism. The story is set to have taken place in a very small town called the Kansa in the sand city. The people of this town are very greedy, and materialist never understood Harvey Merrick hence he was only liked by a few who understood him. The people of this small town View Harvey Merrick as a failure in life. Despite his education, he refuses to be overpowered by the urge unlike all the people of the town to have money and possessions. Harvey Merrick is selfless as he moves out of the town to become a teacher hence the Sculpture.
Mother of Harvey Merrick viewed his son as a failure since she never understood him. In her mind, she thought that her son would be like other people this town. To her disappointment her son does not turn that way, in that he is not driven by material possession hence the mother see him as a failure. The mother fails to understand why her son is not materialistic as other people in the town who always accumulate wealth for their self. The mother to Harvey Merrick was among the people whom greed had taken better part of them. In the funeral how she expressed her grief but it was not genuine, and she was a pretender. She yelled at her maid because of a stupid thing hence this demonstrates that her grief was insincere. In the father demonstrated true grief since unlike other people who knew his son he also understood him. He always saw sense on decision of his son to stay in the East.
Laird who was a lawyer Knew that Harvey Merrick was successful than most of the people in this town. He understood him and liked the way he conducted his things. Laird is disappointed by the fact that after he and Harvey had joined a college together he returns to his town and greed as other people of the town overcomes him. He yelled at t6he town people for being so ignorant and blames all that had happened to his life to them. He is unable to attend the funeral since he is distress and drunk himself up. The day that follows is death announcement of Laird who is said to have died of cold. The greed of the towns’ people that Laird is overpowered with leads him to his disappointment.
The success of Harvey Merrick was based on in his happiness and being very content on the life that he had chosen to live. In the sand city and individual who attained his success through that path was seen to be a second class person. The people of this small town used to talk about people who had strength and power and not those with conforms. Jim Laird points out clearly that the way the people of this town treated successful individual finally lead to the path of self destruction, and if Harvey Merrick Had not chosen to live in another town the same thing would have happened to him.
Reader response criticism
Reading story deeply one can create the perspective that the people of sand city are lead by greed. In a close analysis of the characters of the story, one can see materialistic nature of people of this town. The Mother to Harvey Merrick pretends to be in great grief after his son death, but she yelled at the maid. This grief is insincere since, like most of town’s people, she viewed her son as a failure and failed to understand the path of life that he had chosen. Through reading the story one can see how greed has affected this town and to the extent greed can lead to self destruction.
As Jim laird portray the people of this town by yelling at their ignorance. He is disappointed by himself for returning back to this town where he becomes overpowered by greed and possession of the property. Jim Laird drunk himself and was not able to attend the funeral of his friend. The next morning he is reported dead due to cold. One can explain the greed and materialistic nature of the sand city town leading to self destruction as the disappointment of Liard to the town’s people lead to his death.
The critical approaches that are used by in this story have been able to clearly show the theme that the author wanted to address. The greed of the people of sand city and their materialistic nature finally leads to self destruction.