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loss of the old south

Most remember it as a time of dashing young heroes on horseback, fair damsels in distress, and majestic castles hidden from the vulgarity of daily life by the cool shade of fragrant magnolia and honeysuckle. It was a time and place so far removed fromtodays fast moving, billboard covered world that one could easily imagine that this lostcivilization existed on some far off continent, or perhaps not at all. However, the factremains that once upon a time the old South did exist, and there are many people stillwho feel that the loss of this culture and its ideals is nothing short of a tragedy. One suchindividual was John Crowe Ransom, a man whose life was tempered with his intenseyearning for the tradition and stability that the old South embodied, and that has been lostforever amid the skyscrapers and factories that have replaced the cotton fields andplantation homes of long ago. The power that the old South held for Ransom drove hisworks, as can be evidenced in his poem, Old Mansion, which describes his ultimatelyfutile attempts to return to the old traditions.The common thread unifying Ransoms work is that of longing for the stabilityand tradition that the old South embodies. As in his essays, this poem explores thepossibilities of what unlocking the secrets of this lost era might entail, and what benefitscould be reaped in todays society from such an undertaking. In this poem, Ransom fails;however, the poem remains an important step in his journey to seek out the old traditionsand integrate them into a modern framework. To begin this journey, Ransom introducesthe old mansion as a concrete concept to represent the traditional values and lifestylessought. Every bit of the structure, from its ivied columns, crumbling graveyard, andultimately, its inhabitants themselves, serve as parables for Ransoms search.The language in the opening stanzas clearly demonstrates the reverence andpersonal affinity Ransom feels for the plantation ...

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