A Gravestone Made of Wheat

Decent Essays

In short stories, often an author can find him/herself limited on space to develop one or more of the story’s characters. A skilled author can use small vignettes to relate instances of character development that can be used to infer a relationship with the character. These passages can be a line or two, but can carry the weight of a full chapter if executed properly. Will Weaver paints an idyllic farm scene in “A Gravestone Made of Wheat,” featuring a full cast of traditional characters. Nevertheless, through glimpses into specific instances in Olaf and Inge’s respective lives together, the audience can appreciate their nontraditional nature. Weaver’s short story opens with a confrontation between a small town sheriff and one of his …show more content…

For five long weeks the couple longs for letters from Germany proving Inge’s character, all while remaining apart. When the letters finally arrive, and still Inge is denied citizenship, the frustration shared between the couple reaches a tipping point. Yet still, the couple remains steadfast in their decision to remain apart before marriage. This display of strength, in the face of an illogical system stands to prove the traditional nature of both Inge and Olaf. While much of the story is dedicated to the portrayal of Olaf and Inge as traditional “old country” farm type, there is much to be said for their radical attitudes. While the couple did decide to remain abstinent during the initial naturalization process, Inge and Olaf did live in close enough quarters to raise the eyebrows of a stark traditionalist. Olaf bathes bare chested in full view of his admiring wife, and Inge catches Olaf admiring her looks as she cooks breakfast for him. The couple falls madly in love with each other as they wait to marry, and their traditional defenses slowly slip away. They stay up late at night, with nobody else around, to talk and spend time in the other’s company. When Inge is required by the judge to wait a year before he will approve her naturalization, Inge breaks the barrier surrounding their relationship; first in the courthouse, where she gives up on the systematic exclusion, and then further in the hayloft where she lies with Olaf for the first time. These

Get Access