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Sample Essay

“I say the landscape was made for the man, and not the man for the landscape” (Howells 9).

The novel was written in 1885 by William Dean Howells but first published in 1980 and is about the rise of Silas Lapham hence its name, The Rise of Silas Lapham. It tells the story of Lapham who was born in a poor family but beat all odds to become a successful person in life. The fact that Lapham is a rich man does not earn him any social standard in the society but he decides to gain respect by marrying his daughter to the Corey family.  Though Lapham loses his money in the end, he shows that he is morally upright for he denies selling his mills to the English settlers as his partner proposes.

This quote proves the determination Lapham has to make it in life. It is notable that Lapham is born from a poor family but he is not intending to die poor. He is determined to use the paint his father discovers to make a good living from its business. He believes in using all the opportunities the landscape offers to man to enrich himself. He sees himself to be with more knowledge than most of the other people as he argues that after their return from a fight, a partner had to equip him with the capital since “”He didn’t know anything about paint” (10). He believes in the little knowledge he acquired from the kind of rearing he got from his parents. Bartley challenges his wit as he argues that the partner had more experience than him but he supports his actions saying, “I had some of the experience too” (10). This symbolizes that he had to make it by believing in himself.

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