Sculptor's Funeral, by Willa Cather, and the Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Sculptor's Funeral," by Willa Cather, and the essay "Art for Art's Sake," by E.M. Forster. Specifically, it will discuss how these two pieces reflect each other.

ART IN LITERATURE

Great art is never produced for its own sake. It is too difficult to be worth the effort (George Bernard Shaw 1909).

George Bernard Shaw's dry outlook on art directly opposes the thoughts of E.M. Forster's essay, but his acerbic look at art may have more to do with Willa Cather's short story than most of us would care to admit. Most people do not appreciate the effort that goes into continually creating art. Some can do it, some can dream of it, and some, like the townspeople of Sand City, can only find fault in anything they cannot do or do not understand.

Daily life in the small town of Sand City is ordered and normal, very different from the artistic life of a sculptor such as Harvey Merrick, and Jim Laird, the tortured lawyer who stayed behind in Sand City knows exactly why - the small town's contemptuous and judgmental residents
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are too much for the artistic among them to bear. This is why Laird lashes out at them before the funeral. His own demons torture him right along with the inbred demons present in the pettiness and small-mindedness of the people who live in small towns. Jim Laird is the "artist" who has stayed behind, and so he is the only one who truly understands what Harvey gained by leaving, and what he gave up by coming home on the final leg of his journey through life. This relates directly to E.M. Forster's essay "Art for Art's Sake" when he says, "No one can spend his or her life entirely in the creation or the appreciation of masterpieces" (Forster 578). Even Harvey Merrick cannot spend his entire life creating masterpieces, for a part of him, just like a part of us all, is still back in the small town where he grew up, and where his parents still live. No matter how far we come in life, there is always a piece of us grounded in our youth, and Harvey coming home again is a symbol…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Cather, Willa. "The Sculptor's Funeral."

Forster, E.M. "Art for Art's Sake."

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