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A year in the South, 1865 - Essay Example

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INTRODUCTION: The story, A year in the South;1865 revolved around the four characters who lived riotously for a year in American history. All the four individuals were writers and scribbled their experiences during the era of 1865, the last year of civil war and its consequences…
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A year in the South, 1865
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Download file to see previous pages CORNELIA MCDONALD: Cornelia McDonald was the widow of a confederate officer and the mother of seven. In the story she is fighting poverty and despair and takes apart a mattress thread by thread to make a suit for one of his sons. For Cornelia the year only presented heartaches and hardships for she was forced to leave her genteel home in Winchester, Virginia for rundown accommodations in Lexington, where Cornelia was compelled to tutor young ladies to make the ends meet, after her hometown was taken over by Union Soldiers. A small patch of vegetable plot and a cow made a huge financial gap between the life with which Cornelia and her children were used to and the life she had to spend.  Her friends in town of Lexington, including the wife of General William Pendleton, helped Cornelia survive the difficult winter and spring of 1865. Though she survived the financial hardship borne of war and the loss of her husband, Cornelia's spirits reduced considerably with the termination of the Confederacy as she sided with Union until the war broke out. But once the war began in earnest she adopted the Confederate cause with zeal. In the spring of 1865, Lexington became an impoverished town hosting a stream of black and white refugees. Cornelia was depressed after watching the rise of the slaves and the downfall of her own children, who now have to do laborious work to survive. In many ways, Cornelia protested against this change but always with much care to avoid any rebuke mainly protesting by her gestures and stares. Her own family’s survival kept her busy to take part in any rebellious activities against Yankee soldiers. In summer Cornelia only wished to end her life after an accident of dropping boiling hot water on her foot burning her so badly that she was confined to bed for weeks. Stephen traces the lives of these ordinary southerners during the year of 1865 and his characters come from different racial, religion and class backgrounds and thus the events had a unique impact on all of them. But for some reason Stephen refused to make any connection between these stories, He only portrayed the life of four people in short biographies to depict a picture of change in South throughout the year. LOUIS HUGH: Louis Hugh was 32 years old in the year 1865, a mullato slave born of black mother and a white father, born in Virginia near Charlottesville, in year 1832. At the age of eleven he was sold by his mother to man who further sold him in Richmond from where his life took him to Mississippi, where he was given as a Christmas present to the wife of one of his buyers. Being motherless and friendless he grieved for a long time for his hardships but after a while adapted to the new life. For Louis after facing so many hardships in Mississippi plantation, the year of 1865 was a ray of hope. Hired by his master as a butler, he sold tobacco in his spare time and became talented in many ways. Louise risen himself from a status of slave to a station of relative security. Throughout much of the Civil war Lou spend his life as a slave at salt works near Alabama’s Tombigbee River, where his wife Matilda was hired as a cook in works. He was a butler, carriage driver, trusted servant, his wife was the family cook, and Hughes made a position for himself but still tried to escape from the war numerous times before the end of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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