Analysis Of West Tennessee

Submitted By tankumar162787
Words: 478
Pages: 2

West Tennessee in the 1960s was a clearly hierarchical society in which class was determined by the money each man had. This class distinction is apparent in the way the protagonist, Hake, refers to his more wealthy and influential peers. Instead of simply Jefferson Purser, the owner of the farm land is referred to as Mr. Jefferson Purser. The lawyer, instead of being called Oman, is called Lawyer Hedgepath. This shows Hake’s deference towards them. Due to his place in society, Hake fails to identify with these men of power and influence. However, he does attempt to call Lawyer Hedgepath by his first name- Oman, but soon turns back to the more formal name, “Even if Oman Hedgepath lived on a farm, which he did, that didn’t make him a farmer. Hake knew what he knew. And he knew that Oman Hedgepath had servants to wait on him… work in Lawyer Hedgepath’s flower beds and weed his shrubs…”. This story also clearly depicts the ideology that with money comes power because Lawyer Hedgepath is referred to as “a person who was never told ‘no’” simply because he owned “a large… car”. However, Ford fails to say that same about Hake. No matter their personalities, the money is what earned each of the men their respective statuses in society. This theme of “money buys power” is also expressed through the oppression and restrictions the farmer (Hake) faces due to his lack of money. When talking to Hedgepath about the various other activities his son had to forsake, Hake states, “everything mighty nigh has to be disallowed”. This indicates that Hake couldn’t afford to fund his son’s more expensive hobbies like hunting. No matter how hard Hake works, pulling himself out of the lower class into a more respectable position is almost impossible for someone like him.