The Relation of Artists to their Societies

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Introduction

The relation of artists to the society is always complicated, and as discussed in the story The Sculptor’s Funeral by Willa Cather, it is clearly evident, that Merrick had been alienated from his own society. Due to the reception which Merrick’s dead body received at his home, it was evident, that he had been alienated from his society. Similarly, other artists all over the world, have also suffered the same fate, where they are alienated from their own society or they alienated themselves, without the actual reason of such happenings, being known.

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Due to that reason, this paper will focus on the Cather’s view of Merrick, who was somehow alienated from his society, before moving forward to look at the lives of the artist Mozart, and finally, analyzing the relation of Mozart to other cultures for instance, China and India.

Harvey Merrick, the sculptor, was considered a failure in his home town by the people who lived and new him while he was still in Kansas, before he left for the East. In Kansas, Merrick was considered a failure, because he was not driven by the need for more money, or otherwise, he did not have the urge of getting rich and being wealthy. As a teacher and a Sculptor, he lacked interest in the pursuit of material wealth, a factor which did not add up according to the residents of Kansas. Kansas was majorly composed of people who were more than determined to make more money, thus becoming wealthy. This was however not the case with Merrick, since his main aim was to explore his talent as a sculptor.

The people Kansas were unreceptive, and so, they could not allow or see the need of being determined in other fields, other than being focused on gaining more, hence becoming wealthier. This consequently brings in the theme of close-mindedness in the story The Sculpture’s Funeral (Cather, 483). Merrick was not close-minded, a factor which made him to move from Kansas to the East, in pursuit of his dream of becoming an artist. He was not materialistic and greedy as compared to most people in Kansas, hence making him different, because he did not see things in the same way which the people of Kansas viewed them. Furthermore, he left the small town, due to its small mindedness, in order to advance his careers as a teacher and a sculptor.

Merrick’s actions and beliefs, made most people to dislike him, and the society in general to also dislike him. The people of Kansas believed heroes could only be made in Kansas, and no one was supposed to change his mind and do things differently according to the way Merrick did. Merrick was consequently considered as an outcast,

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