Light and Silence to Reinforce Truth and Justice in Larry Watson's Montana 1948

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Larry Watson in “Montana 1948” uses the motif of light and silence in many ways to reinforce ideas about truth and injustice. He illustrates the injustice in Bentrock, a town barely inside the state’s border, through the motif of light/dark. Watson then demonstrates to the reader the occurrence of something wrong through the motif of silence. In certain places, the motif of light assists the motif of silence to emphasize the significance of the event. Watson further explores the themes of racism and coming of age using the motifs. Watson in his text uses recurring motifs to develop ideas making them clearer to his audience. Setting is used to emphasize the motif of silence. It is without doubt that 'Montana 1948' is a tale about the struggle between truth and justice. During the tragic events which took place in the 'Wild West' town of Bentrock, misuse of power and reputation is seen through the tyrannical characters of Julian and Frank Hayden (add reference of study mode). However, despite the persona of his father and brother, Wesley Hayden contradicts his family name, and seizes to act honestly and with strong moral beliefs (add reference study mode). Watson uses the motif of light to demonstrate the truth and the absence of light indicates the truth is hidden and justice is not served. Frank Hayden was a white man and Marie little soldier was an Indian and so the darkness is used by Watson to show that justice is not served and to reinforce the notion of a racist

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