SUBJECT AREA Self improvement
CREATED ON 21st March 2018

Illustrating with Vignettes Essay

Neil Gaiman employs vignettes quite successfully within American infantry. His interludes, especially those of a historical digression, provide context for the evolution of different gods in the united states, as well as their difficulty in assimilating and flourishing. Common during all four historic digressions are themes of sacrifice and jealousy. The first vignette, A.D. 813, exemplifies the establishment of gods from the new world. Norsemen sail into North America, calling on the All-Father to keep them safe. Once recognized, their bard sings of Odin round the campfire. The Norsemen then fulfill a native, a "scraeling dressed in furs" using "small bones braided to his long hair" (68). They entertain and feed him before committing him to their god: "they transported him at the head of a procession into an ash treewhere they place a rope around his neck and hung him full of tribute to the All-Father" (68). Even though their singing to Odin attracted the Grimner's attention, it had been the sacrifice that brought him into the new territory. The day following the homage, "two enormous ravens stumbled upon the scraeling's corpse[and] the guys understood their sacrifice was approved" (68-69). The blood and forfeit strengthened Odin's link into the land. Though the Norsemen all die in an attack by natives, even the religion, though abandoned, isn't entirely forgotten. When Leif the Fortunate arrives later, his gods wait him. The second historical vignette, dated 1721, additionally illustrates the arrival of gods, but goes further to handle their struggle to survive. Celtic beliefs arrive at North America at the rear of a loyal Cornishwoman's thoughts. Readers grow older together with the Essie the main character, a woman banished double from her deathbed, bartering her body for next cha...

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