By Life Ain’t Always Easy: An Analysis of the Themes in Spoon River Anthology Spoon River Anthology gives us a clear and detailed reminder that life isn’t always easy. There aren’t many people in here that didn’t have it rough in some way. However, while struggling to maintain focus in the process of reading such a depressing book, I tried to find the “bright spots” in it. To me, these were the people that did have it rough or were forced into a difficult situation but in the midst of it they managed to find the good in life or help those around them.
Three epitaphs from this section of the book seemed to match this description almost perfectly; they took the hand they were dealt and played it to the best of their ability. The first poem to represent this theme is that of Francis Turner. He didn’t even have much of a chance to improve his situation in life. Scarlet-fever had left his heart diseased. As a child he could not play around with the other boy. As a man he could, “only sip the cup, not drink. ” Turner missed out on many of the pleasures in life due to his limits on movement and excitement.
Even though he had these limitations he found enjoyment in the little parts of life instead of feeling sorry for himself. Turner enjoyed the beauty in the life of a garden and its peacefulness. At the end of his life he left the world peacefully with a kiss to Mary, “There on that afternoon in June, by Mary’s side, kissing her with my soul on my lips, it suddenly took flight. ” The next two examples from the book I find to be the more motivational of the selections. The first is Mrs. Charles Bliss. She had a husband that treated her unfairly and they struggled to get along.
Mrs. Bliss had every right to a divorce from the man if that’s what she wanted, however, instead of acting selfishly and impulsively she took the time to think about her actions. She sought advice on her final decision, “Reverend Wiley advised me not to divorce him, for the sake of the children; and Judge Somers advised the same, so we stuck to the end of the path. ” Through this decision she chose the much more difficult path in life for several years. Sometimes, these times were made even more difficult by the uncertainness of the decision.
This doubt came from the children, who, through a lack of knowledge, were unappreciative of the choice from time to time. “And all were torn with the guilt of judging, and tortured in soul because they could not admire equally him and me. ” At times, the attempt to save the integrity of the family probably seemed futile and not worth the trouble. Nevertheless Mrs. Charles Bliss was a strong woman and ultimately made the right decision that would benefit her children even if they didn’t know it.
Mrs. George Reece is the final and most prime example of the theme, life is not always easy. Unlike the previous woman, she was not given a choice on whether to split with her husband and how to raise her children. Her husband was falsely accused of taking part in the fall of the bank and was sent to prison. Mrs. Reece was left to raise their children alone, and instead of neglecting these duties, she took them head on.
“And I did it, and sent them forth, into the world all clean and strong. I believe she gives the best description of what to do when life gets tough herself, “Act well your part, there all the honor lies. ” She was handed the part of a single mother raising several children in a time that was even more difficult for single mothers. For her children, she went above and beyond in their raising and when it was time for the to be on their own they were left with strong morals and a good start in life. All due to the strong mindset of their loving mother.
These various poems from the book are examples of the fact that life isn’t always easy. The characters described had strong hearts though and made the best of their situations. For this greatly admire them. Sometimes life knocks you down and you have to make the decision of laying down and giving up or dusting yourself and getting back on the horse. Often, when you choose to give up once, you will do that for the rest of your life. The three people described just did just the opposite when life wasn’t easy and kept fighting.