University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
An American novelist
An American novelist, historian, and literary historian-that was Alfred Bertram Guthrie, Jr. Having shown an excellent writing style and due to his love of Montana he went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for his fiction The Way West in 1959. This book mainly talks about Dick Summer’s return to the Wild West to guide some settlers on the hard journey to Oregon through a dangerous trail (Joseph, Guthrie, & Peter, 1959, 18). A. B.
Guthrie wrote with a unique sense of style, skill, artful simplicity and eloquent sentiment and these are all apparent in the opening, the discovering, the settling, the emergent and the exploiting of the American West. At the point in his life when he was merely a university graduate in journalism, he pioneered the hard knowledge that has helped young novelists ascend to greater heights. Guthrie gave much of himself and his time to advise young writers just as Professor Theodore Morrison, his mentor, did for him.
Guthrie’s ability to pay attention to historical accuracy, his love of nature, an unfailing ear for dialect and realistic dialogue and the skill to create unforgettable characters that readers easily adapt to care about are the traits that set him aside from other writers. The distinctiveness of his ability to frame vivid, tightly compressed scenes in which those characters intermingle is pure intellect (Joseph, Guthrie, & Peter, 1959, p. 31). In defining the American experience, Guthrie’s The Big Sky is a big aid in attempting to understand the conflict during this time.
It provides descriptive evidence of the attitude of pioneers, the readiness of the pioneers, the empathy for the land that fur-trappers and backwoodsmen had during that time and how all the diverse people merged to form a nation. Guthrie’s most outstanding accomplishment is demonstrated in his ability to affirm the range, complexity, and the intensity of the colonization of the Missouri and Columbia drainage basins by real people which was his large subject (Joseph, Guthrie, & Peter, 1959, p. 45) .
Joseph Howard, A. B. Guthrie & Peter Hurd. Montana: High, Wide, and Handsome. Yale University Press, 1959, 18, 31, 45