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Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

Created: 10/15/14

Replies: 18

Posted Oct. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vickys

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 28

Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

A character - I think Roseanna - makes a comment about death being more accepted (or expected) on a farm. I was wondering if any one else found this to be worth thinking about. I've lived in a city or suburb my whole life and have no experience on a farm or in a rural environment - bedsides vacations in a National Park. Is death more common on a farm and more accepted (for people and animals)?


Posted Oct. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1303

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RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

I think without a doubt the whole cycle of life is more accepted in a farm setting where both birth and death are part of the every day. I grew up in the countryside, not on a farm but with enough land for the odd sheep to graze, and my mother was the daughter of a farmer. Growing up there was no disconnect between befriending and naming the cute little lambs and eating them a few months later. I think this pragmatism must rub off into life and death on human terms as well to some degree. But I think there is a difference between accepting death, and thus perhaps not going to extraordinary lengths to prolong life, and the pain of the loss. I am not convinced that a person on a farm feels the death of a loved one any less acutely, but I think in general they might be a bit more stoical in their outward display than a life-time city dweller.


Posted Oct. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
hazeyr

Join Date: 03/24/12

Posts: 19

RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

My husband grew up summering on his Uncle's farm, and from the stories he tells, it seems that the death of an animal is more accepted as a part of the cycle of life, whereas an urban pet owner might find the loss of a pet animal with more emotion. I've heard many stories about uncle Benny going out to the barn and coming home with a rabbit or a chicken for dinner, and cows boarding trucks for slaughter. These stories are told in a matter of fact manner. This ability to desensitize has been reflected time and time again by stories of pets, beloved pets such as the family dog, whose demise is faced with less manifestations of overwhelming grief, and more coping and acceptance of death.


Posted Oct. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1303

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RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

Hazeyr's comment about a person living on a farm being "desensitized" raises the question of what is the norm? Is the person living on a farm desensitized to death, or is the person distanced from the process the one who has become overly sensitive?


Posted Oct. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
harriettek

Join Date: 10/19/10

Posts: 34

RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

As far as death being more accepted on the farm than elsewhere, I don't believe that it's a matter of being desensitized as a matter of confronting life and death on a daily basis. Also, the time of the story puts us in a period when life was more fragile everywhere. We are shown the reaction of Rosanna to the sudden death of her child, that of Joey to the ill-treatment of the family horses and their deaths, that death is very painful to the members of the family no matter how often it it witnessed.


Posted Oct. 20, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
malindan

Join Date: 05/10/12

Posts: 48

RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

I think there is no doubt that death is more accepted on a farm than in the city especially in the time frame of the story. I don't think it is a matter of people being desensitized as it is acceptance of the reality of life and death. Everyone and everything plays a role on the farm. The family dog id there to help and provide warning. The cats are there to catch mice. They are not so much pets but part of the farm community. My father grew up on a farm in the 30's and 40's. It is a life that doesn't leave a lot of time for recreation. The dog ate table scraps and if he got sick then he got sick. Everyone played a role including livestock. I moved from Long Island to West Virginia a couple of years ago and you can see a similar attitude. People hunt in West Virginia sometimes for sport but they eat their catch too. I didn't know anyone who owned a gun in Long Island. Urban and rural cultures are different.


Posted Oct. 20, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianed's Gravatar
dianed

Join Date: 09/14/11

Posts: 14

RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

I agree with those who don't believe farm people are desensitized to death, but are just used to the life cycle, and death is a part of that. They see more death, so it's not the shock it is to many who don't go through too much loss in their lives. I'm sure the loss of a pet is hard on any child, though farm children may be able to get through the pain faster.


Posted Oct. 21, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
CheriFaith

Join Date: 10/06/14

Posts: 32

RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

To me, death is not something that I would ever term acceptable. Having spent time in both city and country in my formative years, the perception and handling of death is different. Perhaps the country people have a simpler view that may appear to be almost practical when it comes to how they deal with loss. Their lives are more focused on the basics of life - the things that keep one grounded - and maybe that helps them to cope in a way that may let an observer think it was acceptable. But I have found that the country people carry a great deal of sorrow inside of their hearts and minds which makes me know they do not view death as acceptable. These people are stoic for a reason - their lives are demanding, difficult and dangerous - so they have got to keep it together as much as they can. So they deal with life in a matter-of-fact way. And part of life is death.


Posted Oct. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 57

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RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

I am in agreement with those who believe that living in a rural environment simply exposes one more to death rather than desensitizes them to it. In the city - even in the earlier days of this novel - people moved at a more rapid pace and were focused less on death because they did not live so close to nature and its natural cycles. We hear how Rosanna butter and eggs are important to some for their cooking only, while to Rosanna and Walter, they were part of survival. When Joe found the dogs, he did not want them to be killed and when two died, he took special care to bury them safely and properly. Even at a young age, he shows respect for life.


Posted Oct. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
celiaarnaud

Join Date: 04/18/12

Posts: 35

RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

Death is certainly more visible on a farm. And one of the ways to accept it is to distance oneself. It's interesting to me that Joe is the one who remains on the farm, but he's also the one who names the animals. But those deaths are planned. You know they have to happen for the farm to function. But that doesn't mean that people's deaths, especially those "out of season", like Mary Elizabeth's, are accepted. We see what that did to Rosanna. That is definitely not an example of accepting death or being desensitized to it.


Posted Oct. 24, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianes

Join Date: 05/16/11

Posts: 64

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RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

Think it depends on the death, death of a child is not easily accepted in either place. On the farm though they have a closer connection to death whether it be crops or animals.


Posted Oct. 24, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
darylb

Join Date: 06/23/13

Posts: 90

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RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

I think it was more accepted back then than now. My father grew up on a farm and three of his eight siblings died as children - bad water and illnesses that living in the present would probably not have happened. I don't think it was any easier to deal with the emotions of losing a loved one, but this was a more common part of their lives. Animals are raised on farms to be killed for food. Seeing this all your life is definitely going to be more accepted than losing a pet.


Posted Oct. 25, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rosemaryk

Join Date: 08/29/11

Posts: 36

RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

I don't believe it's more accepted on a farm. These days, there seems to be more death (through crime, primarily) in the city--yet does it ever become routine? One would hope not.


Posted Oct. 26, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bonnieb

Join Date: 09/11/11

Posts: 105

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RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

I think both the time and the location made death a more expected occurrence. Not that death is easy for anyone, but on a farm and in the years that this book takes place, death is more prevalent.


Posted Oct. 26, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 70

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RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

Reaction to death is not based on location but to human feelings...callous or caring.


Posted Oct. 31, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Pepper

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 12

RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

Each summer, my family goes to a farm for a week. My girls quickly noticed that the same animals were not there from summer to summer, and I had to tell them that the little lamb or goat they held--maybe even named--was raised for its meat. Soon enough, they understood that destiny played a role; there were sheep for wool, and dinner sheep. I don't know that they would ever want to watch a butcher, but on some level they did come to understand. My kids realized the fate of a litter of sickly kittens or a cow with a broken leg was just a fact of farm life. As a practical matter, bearing witness to the circle of life as farmers see it, would make death more accepted.


Posted Nov. 02, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
iread49

Join Date: 04/10/13

Posts: 46

RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

I think it is more understood, not necessarily accepted. People not exposed to farm life rarely think of the process of how the meat goes from farm to table.


Posted Nov. 05, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 147

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RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

I believe the death of animals is more accepted. They usually to not make pets of the animals, they are there to work. My granddaughter has a grandfather who farms. She always wanted to make pets of the kittens and cried if one died. Her grandfather did not see this the same way. The cats were there for a reason, to take care of rodents. I believe they view death of family members the same as city dwellers.


Posted Dec. 04, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
darcyc's Gravatar
darcyc

Join Date: 02/16/12

Posts: 2

RE: Is death more accepted on a farm than in the city?

I have only lived on my parent's "gentleman's farm" where the 2 llamas grazed with the 10 sheep -- and no crops were grown. So, I was surprised by the statement that death is more accepted on the farm. Perhaps it is because in the city you can be killed by a bus, or a rampant killer with a gun. Killed by totally random chance and city-madness. On the farm, you might be killed by your tractor, or by your bull. That would be my guess. In a farming community - most neighbors helped one another, so you really KNEW your neighbors or their kids who helped you. Plus, it's a slower pace, with less chance for people to "just move on" because "life moves on." Plus, in a city, there are 1000's or millions of people you don't know, at all.


ErinOLiff

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