Silas' House, a Parchment of Leaves

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Corey Campbell
English 310 TR 1:30-2:45
4/1/09

Silas House’s, A Parchment of Leaves plays through the life of one of House’s most vivid and compassionate characters, Vine, a full blood Cherokee raised in the rural mountains of Kentucky. House’s use of spiritual surroundings displays the beauty and wonder that structures the novel. As the reader sees Vine grow from young adult, into motherhood, they can see that growth not only can be in wisdom and maturity but by making bonds that will last a lifetime. The people that she meets and lives around impact her morals as the reader sees Vine’s life unfold. The novel is divided into sections of Vine’s life that entail obsession, love, unspoken forgiveness, and loyalty as themes, all the while teaching vine precious morals that she later comes to appreciate as she realizes that all she needs is right where it all started. The conflict comes when she finds herself attached spiritually to the ones that made her life significant.

The novel is structured into different parts of Vine’s life that support major themes with each section. When Vine is a child the reader will recognize the innocence of life in the eyes of a young teenage girl as she falls in love with a man she hardly knows even after they get married. Confluence represents the freedom of life that we as people all experience at a young age, but for Vine these experiences come from the rituals of her people, the Cherokee Indians. Vine’s naïve nature foreshadows to the reader Vine’s future real world problems and inexperience of responsibility and motherhood. The second sections, On The Mountain, entails the experiences that Vine goes through in life, i.e. motherhood, responsibilities, all without the presence of men. The last section, The Promise of Joy, is ironic as well as hopeful. This section contains the climax of the story which, as the reader finds, is not joyous at all. Vine comes to realize that things aren’t as bad as they seem...
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