Angle of Repose - Summary

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Jordan Pye 8-12-11 Angle of Repose Written by Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972. Based on the letters written by Mary Hallcock Foote, the inspiration to Stengner’s character, Susan Ward, Stegner writes about a man, Lyman Ward, who has developed a bone crippling disease and has become dependent on others to assist him on his mission to discover his grandmother’s journey to Grass Valley. To accomplish this, Lyman went through a vast amount of letters and placed them in order of occurrence. His grandmother, Susan Burling Ward, had embarked on a journey of a lifetime with, her husband, Oliver Ward; on which they encountered many new hardships as they pioneered the West. Like many great quests, it leads…show more content…
Finally figuring he was drunk, she became incredibly upset with him and with the news that he had failed to obtain investors, Susan demanded Oliver to sleep outside. When Lyman and his assistant, Shelly, came to this part, Lyman related the departure of his wife, Ellen, to when Susan took the children to Vancouver Island. During the same time, Oliver led a survey party to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. As a result, Lyman felt similar pain to Susan after Oliver left. An additional crisis that they faced in Mesa was because Oliver was so busy with the canal, he left important paper work about property to one Mr. Burns and consequently, he lost the property. Although irate at first, the two of them surmounted the mistake and moved on. Both, Susan and Oliver, had different ways of handling their adversities, but in the end, they always forgave each other. The metaphor angle of repose means it is the slope at which dirt stops sliding downhill and stays put. An example of the metaphor was Oliver Ward digging trenches...first as a mining engineer, then as an irrigation engineer, and the dirt kept on falling back into the trench, making his work that much harder. Finally, he found a way to work without having the dirt back fall on top of him. When Lyman Ward was at Zodiac Cottage, he hoped to be able to relate the pieces of his life together the same way his grandparents did- meeting the challenges of the

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