Solon Barnes. Social and family life of one man from childhood to… the Formation and development of personality, the successful implementation of social, environment of residence and imbibed from infancy the morals and values of a deeply religious family. The novel plunges us into the midst of the Quakers (for those who don’t know – one of the religious sects of America). It is obvious that developed the religious orientation of the novel made it less popular among readers than the other novels of Dreiser.
But for me, he first became a novel about the education of the younger generation. Actually, I had quite dismissive and even cautiously treated to all sorts of sects. Not to say, of course, that after reading the novel will join the Quakers 🙂 But my opinion definitely changed, became more loyal. I’ve been thinking about how convenient to have such a pedagogical base as a solid the concept of religion, which wholly focused, concise, and thoughtful they were of the educational process. To educate children is difficult.
Parents often do not sure that doing the right thing in their educational decisions. Where can you find the answer to this question? Who teaches us to educate their children? Bad experience of our own parents? But to rely on these things on his own faith and adopted the religion… Unit, I guess. And what to do with different views on life, with the influence from the outside? No matter how fast-changing the world, it is impossible to dissociate itself from its conservative concepts. Even more difficult, even impossible, to isolate the young receptive mind. And what to do with the saying “like mother, like son…”, sometimes if they are very far fall. Even in a conservative religious family with this education the children all grow up different and completely different than their parents. How this turns out… And how to take it…
This novel is about a family of American Quakers. Family Barnes zealously adhere to their religion, is a family of strict rules and manners. A large family, each in their own way and not very good, each with its own advantages and of course disadvantages. The head of the family – Solon Barnes is a man of the old school and the rules. He and his wife Benicia brings in the rigor of his children. But, some kids don’t understand why they “keep and grow the thorn”. Naturally, some children “go to protest”, thus bringing disappointment to your parents.
The novel is light and deep at the same time. As always happens in life, mistakes we make, but know they are correct and sometimes very late. Salt loses son, then beloved wife. In the end, all the experiences, he gets cancer. In the sunset of his days, he forgives children and reinvents the meaning of life, the regret was too strict. But, every parent wants the best for his child, and it is a normal human instinct. So salty tried to bring the inner light in each of the children, which he possessed in full measure. “Piety warn each other”. Lost in the sunset of his life – ended the era of the great father, the great economist and a good person. The man that kept the whole house, all the emotions and faith. He was a reliable stronghold for his family and loved ones. And what happened next, alas, nobody knows.