Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 98: Crutch, the Page

This long story is one by George A. Townsend, who I had heard of but never read. It is about the social troubles and class problems that arose after the Civil War, with most possibilities represented. There are the loiterers, the Southern congressmen, the ill and suffering poor who have so much pride in their heritage that they will never yield to another way of life, regardless of the fact that they will die poor, and one Northern congressman. This story takes place in Washington D.C., while Congress is in session, and a Mr. Reybold, the Northern congressman, is trying to win the affection of Joyce, a Virginia girl who has a consistently absent father (If he exists at all), a dying brother and a prideful, abusive mother. Crutch, or Uriel (Joyce's little brother who is terminally ill) works as a page for Congress, and Joyce works as a maid and cook in her mother's boarding house. Not only does this story represent all these characters, but also uniquely shows the barriers that confronted the North and the South after the Civil War (also called "The Lost Cause" by those in the South) between people, not just social classes. I would suggest this reading to anyone who wants to know more about what happened after the Civil War and also to any historian--it certainly makes for an interesting read.

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