Plainsong by Kent Haruf
Plainsong is a story that makes the readers envision the complexities of life. Haruf tried to convey the issues and problems that people across the life span encounter. Plainsong is the representation of a multi-faceted society wherein there is a diverse interplay of characters. It is a proof that people may all experience certain dilemmas at a time, but it is how each individual approaches, deals, and combats it that makes the difference. Haruf introduced to us a father who was abandoned by his wife, leaving in his sole custody two young sons; an adolescent girl who was gotten pregnant and desolated; two brothers who seemed and thought that they were already content yet someone made them realize that there is much more to life other than the farm animals that they tend. These characters may appear common at a first glance but a closer look would reveal that even the sturdiest man may fell weak; even the boys who seem to not to worry may be bothered for real; even the most delicate and fragile may transform into steel; and even the most contented men may still be searching for something from within.
I think Haruf wanted to convey that even a small countryside town that seemed to be almost perfect because of its simplicity also has its own complications. Life is unpredictable. No one could ever tell why a certain phenomenon occurs. No one could ever tell how another person should think or act. Despite the calmness that the façade shows we never know the turmoil that might be really happening from within. We can never manipulate or navigate ones direction in life; we can only share our opinions over it. We must let the people around us enjoy the privilege of deciding for their own good, for their own benefits.
Being a good companion does not mean that we always have to be engaging in all the things that our comrades do. A display of concern and sensitivity is decent enough to let them know that they have someone to lean on to.
Among the lead characters in the novel, I was able to relate closely with Maggie Jones. She is strong-willed and empowered woman. She was sensible enough to relate to the other characters’ needs. She responded in the most gregarious and helpful way that she could in order to improve the personhood of each character. She is an ideal woman of today for she can stand on her own and can live up to whatever she thinks deserves to be done. Admittedly, at times I feel weak but I effortlessly and unconsciously have built in me a defense mechanism that helps me get through whatever trial that surpasses me. It’s like I have mastered how to condition myself that everything is going to be alright amidst the difficult times. In the novel, Maggie Jones has become the cornerstone of strength of each character. She was able to intertwine the unruly lives of the rest of the characters, and somehow contributed in putting back together the harmony in each other’s life. She has aided in the realization of the characters. In reality, we have to realize that somehow, we have to let and train ourselves to become a Maggie Jones. We would never know until when the people around us will remain strong for us, better yet be assured that we can always rely on ourselves in times when no one would be available to support us. We must know that in order to become strength to others, we must first master to become our own strengths.