or Ellen GlasgowJordan’s End:
Naturalism vs. Not
In my opinion, Ellen Glasgow’s Jordan’s End is defiantly a Naturalist piece of writing. When a story is Naturalistic, the actions that take place can not be avoided, no matter how hard the characters try. In this piece, the doctor, Alan Jordan, and the three old ladies could not help their situation.
When traveling to Jordan’s End, the doctor reaches a fork in the road. Since she is traveling to a certain destination, she can not pick the way she travels, fate does. Therefore, she my take the less traveled path. ” Then you take the bad road. Thar’s Jur’dn’s turnout.’ He pointed to the sunken trail, deep in mud, on the right.” (Pg 1029)
Alan Jordan belongs to a family of insanity. All the men in the past generations have gotten the same disease. Because of heredity, he can not change the fact of his future. ” My husband’s grandfather is in an asylum, still living after almost thirty years. His father-my husband’s, I mean-died there a few years ago. Two of his uncles are there. When it began I don’t know, or how far back it reaches. We have never talked of it. We have tried always to forget it.’ ” (Pg 1034)
The three old ladies in the story, wives of the insane men in the Jordan family, can not get out of their situation. Their situation being that they are depressed because of their husbands’ conditions. They have tried so hard that they have given up. ” They are old women now, and they feel nothing.’ ” (Pg 1034) Glasgow even portrays the women as “Fates,” the three goddesses in Greek and Roman mythology who spin, measure, and cut the thread of life.
“… where three lean black-robed figures, as impassive as the Fates, were grouped in from of the wood fire. They were doing something with their hands. Knitting, crocheting, or plaiting straw?” (Pg 1035)
Comparing the three Mrs. Jordans to “Fate,” is one of my main points! It shows that Ellen Glasgow was lying when she was not a Naturalist. Maybe not in all of her works, but at least in this one, she is expressing her Naturalism views on life.