Gibbon's Clay seems to be a story that displays his love and hatred by the red
clay, as it is said in his biography.
From the very beginning
of the story, we are introduced to the Galts, a big family spread all over
Segget. The narrator tries to explain the way of thinking of this
brotherhood-like family. They are described as a family of farmers who work
hard and like to gossip all around their lands. He warns as well to the
newcomers so to tell the genealogical tree in this family is such wide that
no one could know it but one member of the Galts.
However, we are
introduced to a member of the family who, at first sight, has nothing to do
with the people of this brood: Rob Galt. He is a good man who once told his
father he just want to work to get a place of his own and parks which belonged
to him. He married his wife; they had a daughter called Rachel. When she was old
enough to remember, they moved to Pittaulds where they lived together and Rob
could start his dream: a place of his own. He made plantations, cultivated the
earth, and started to forget other matters in life.
First shock is when we
see Rachel trying to explain her father the good news. She may be going to
college, to which he says who is going to pay for it since the money that he
earn this year is going to pay for the cultivation next year. Rachel is
Second shock is when
Mrs Galt falls ill. Rob does forget to call the doctor during some days. Rachel
realizes his father is going mad . There is something wrong with him. Mrs Galt
is said to have cancer and dies one day in September. Rachel is going to blame
her father though she is going to forgive him at the same time. From there on, she has
to do the housekeeping. Her father goes on thinking about his crops and parks.
One day in the cold November, as usual, he is out, looking at his parks when he
finds some bones of the man that supposedly once farmed there. This is the end
for Rob since he catches a cold and falls ill dying at the few days. Rachel tries to hate
her father every time she remembers her mother, but she is not able.
The story shows us how
a family can be divided up because of men's greed. Rob is justified in every moment
until Mrs Galt dies. It is in that precise moment that Rachel puts the blame on his father. He comes
to think "he was mean as dirt with the silver he made".
We can see two main
themes in the plot: a man's dream that comes true and the love and hatred shown
in a family. Rob just dreams of
having a place of his own and he finally gets one; the problem is where to
stop. He worked his entire life to get those parks but when he falls ill and dies
we see that he could not even enjoy his dream as he did not was aware it had
come true. Clay symbolizes the unique bond between the family since the only
moments that Rob spends at home is talking about his crops and his parks. We
see a family paralyzed and separated by a father's work. At the end of the story,
Rachel is unable to hate her father. She blames him for the death of her mother
but cannot avoid forgiving him. He just wanted to have his place and that is
what he had done. He is sometimes said to not hang out with guys so we see that
hatred used to attack the rest of the men. It is not so weird if we think of a
family such as the Galts. they are all solid as one though the gossiping is