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095 Tumbrils
 

Foundations of America

QU201 Prof. Scott Leone

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095 Tumbrils

“As a child he loves wagons, he loved the rides on the big tumbrils in summer moonlight, the bodies of children falling over one another in the hard bumping wagons.”

Tumbrils are usually two wheeled carts pulled by a horse or ox to load and unload things on a farm.  They are mostly used for manure.  Here Tateh is saying that he recalls riding in these tumbrils as a child and that’s what connects him to Springfield, Massachusetts, and makes him genuinely believe that he could live there with his daughter.  Tumbrils were also used originally during the French revolution to carry the bodies of the dead out of the way of soldiers.

Both of the uses of tumbrils are ominous which makes it strange that he gets such joy out of seeing children play in the on the streets as he once did.  Throughout the whole book Tateh is described as caring but reserved.  He cares so much for the little girl (his daughter) and then he cares so little about other things.  He has no real roots and this fact makes it even more abnormal that he decides to plant these roots in Springfield, MA because he can relate to these “tumbrils” and the children playing as he once did.

 

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tumbril

http://dictionary.die.net/tumbril

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tumbrel

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 September 2011 14:16  

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