The Sea of Grass

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  • Topic: Ranch, Cowboy, Farm
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  • Published : January 9, 2002
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Bankowski 1

David Bankowski

Mrs. Downes

Humanities 4A

7 January 2002

The Sea of Grass

In this novel by Conrad Richter, the end of the New Mexico frontier as

seen through the eyes of Hal, the nephew of one of the last great cattle ranchers.

As civilization encroaches even onto that remote region, Colonel Jim Brewton

symbolizes the last struggle and eventual submission of the land to the inevitable

development of the forces of society. Jim was lord of his cattle ranch in which he

had loved so much. Lutie Cameron was the gentle, cultivated woman he brought

to the brutal new territory to be his wife. She married him, brought a foreign

prettiness to his ranch, and even gave him children of their own. But she hated the

land he loved, and their conflict in which they brought their children into was both

tragic and inevitable.

Conrad Richter made the setting of this book in New Mexico during the late

nineteenth century. He did this because even though as a boy he was saturated

with tales and the color of the Eastern pioneer days. In 1928 Conrad and his small

family moved to New Mexico, where his heart and mind were soon captured by

the Southwest.

Conrad Richter picked the title Sea of Grass for a few reasons. Out in New

Bankowski 2

Mexico or just anywhere in the west really the grassland is just so incredibly large

that it is just like looking out into a vast and endless sea of grass, that looks like it

just goes on forever and ever. It was because of the beauty of this vast sea of grass

that Colonel James Brewton fights so hard to save it form society coming out to

settle the land, and build fences, and claim parts of it as there own, and not just

leaving it in the rightful hands of nature.
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