Storming Heaven: the Land before Time Essay
In the book Storming Heaven by Denise Giardina, education, and the lack there of, plays one of the largest roles in the character's lives. At this time in West Virginia, where the book is set, many children had to leave school and actually go into the coalmines, as Rondal Lloyd did, or work on the family farm. Racial ignorance is also a key element Giardina confronts in the novel. The characters, chief and secondary, equally cultural and racially bland, pass on their beliefs and therefore help to maintain the continuous circle of inequality that carries on even today. Political knowledge, at least on the national and state level, is also lacking within the little town of Annadel. With this knowledge coupled with her own experiences from growing up as an immigrants daughter in the same coalfields as her novels characters, Denise Giardina tries to explain the function of education and ignorance in not only the coalfields of West Virginia, but throughout the entire world.
Until the child labor laws of the twentieth century came into effect, a child leaving school either temporarily or permanently, in order to work and help sustain one's family, was a rather common practice. For instance, Rondal is taken out of school because his father is unable to produce enough money to take care of the family on his own; therefore, Rondal is left to pick up the slack in the mine. This is only another step in the circle of ignorance. If one is taken out of a comfortable educational environment and thrown into a dark, cold, abyss first the ability to cope with life's simple problems is virtually nonexistent. This is later revealed in the book when Rondal cannot come to terms with how he feels about Carrie not to mention his "need" to keep moving and fighting for a better life for the coal miners' children of the future.
Moreover, education can also be halted due to ones gender. This is so in the case of Carrie Bishop....
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