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The Greatest Human Conflict

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  1. Introduction
  2. The magnitude of a plane crash
  3. The people in the Farquarsons' living room
  4. The powerful change that Anne triggers
  5. An emotional high as fleeting as a daydream of snow-covered mountains
  6. The ultimate downfall in his emotional change
  7. Conclusion

In The Country Husband, John Cheever introduces us to Francis Weed, a passive country man who leads a lackluster life. The story begins with a plane crash?an event that should be traumatizing and life-altering. However, Frances Weed hardly has a reaction to this frightening setting. He is truly a monument to apathy. Ironically, the crash is not the catalyst for the series of dramatized moments that gradually change his character; instead, his encounters with women stir his dormant emotions. Descriptions of the setting within each of these experiences reflect this sudden awakening. His memories, dreams, and newfound love seem to manifest every atmosphere. Unfortunately, the superficiality of his town stifles any emotion his experiences garner. He eventually must make a choice all humans face?whether to employ these changes in perceiving the settings of every day life, or to simply suppress them. Francis' reactions to the elements of setting in his world reflect the transformations in his character.

[...] Her reaction to the punishment mirrors Francis's tenacious demeanor. Francis decides not to share this memory with anyone, asserting that could not tell anyone .it would be a social as well as human error. The people in the Farquarsons' living room seemed united in their tacit claim that there had been no past, no war .the atmosphere of Shady Hill made the memory unseemly and impolite.? (p. 191). His unwillingness to share his extraordinary encounter suggests that the unfeeling and sheltered town as the culprit of his emotional isolation and. [...]

[...] Wrightson and the superficiality she radiates. His romantic feelings for Anne have invigorated him enough to finally speak his true mind. This is the moment where he officially disconnects himself from Shady Hill. After Mrs. Wrightson limps away from him, the atmosphere around him become beautiful once more??The sky shone like enamel. Even the smell of ink from his morning paper honed his appetite for life, and the world that was spread out around him was plainly paradise.? (p. 194). [...]

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