A Lesson Before Dying
The novel, A Land Remembered, is the epic saga of three generations of MacIveys.The novel begins with a flash back, from the last generation MacIvey, Sol.Sol was a real estate tycoon in Miami and the surrounding areas.He has chosen to give up his life in Miami to live his last hours in thecabin in Punta Rassa , Florida; the cabin his grandfather had built.Thus, the three generations of MacIveys in Florida ends.
The first generation of MacIveys consisted of the father and husband, Tobias, the mother and wife, Emma, and their young son, Zech.The family had decided to escape the pressures of the Civil War in their native Georgia, and move to the scrub of Northern Florida.The MacIveys experience many troubles and learn many new things during their stay in the scrub, such as meeting Indians, that will turn out to influence their life greatly.Other experiences included Tobias being recruited by Marshall Adler to drive cattle to the confederate troops and also being recruited to chop trees to build walls of defense for the confederate forces.During the excursion to chop down trees, confederate deserters raided Emma and Zech and burned down their house.Tobias and Emma made the decision that the war was getting to close to the scrub, and that moving South would be a good idea.The MacIvey clan packed up their wagon and headed south along the St. Johns and Kissimmee rivers and settled in a hammock along the Kissimmee river.
In Kissimmee is where Tobias begins his empire that turns the family into one of the wealthiest families in Florida.In the swamps of Florida, wild cows live and Tobias tries his best to capture these cows and make a drive, but without horses and dogs, Tobias makes little headway in his project.In the woods one day, Skillet, a freed slave, was found.Skillet agreed to stay on with the MacIveys and help them start their empire.Dogs and a marshtackie were given to the MacIveys by their Indian friends they helped in the scrub.The MacIveys now popped cows out of the swamp and their first drive to Punta Rassa ended in a disaster with all the cows being lost to a great flood.The determined MacIveys never looked back and gathered another heard and the whole clan drove the cows to Punta Rassa.In Punta Rassa, the cows were sold for fifteen dollars a head and the MacIvey empire begins.Also on this first trip, Hendry, the cattle buyer, bets a 150 acres of land that Ishmael, Zechs marshtackie, cant beat his bay horse.Ishmael beats him and the MacIveys got the deed.
The MacIveys begin to make drives often where many events take place, such as Tobias and Zech meeting the Indians in the Everglades, Zech meeting Glenda, his wife, and Tawanda, his Indian lover, and the beginning of Tobias citrus empire.The first generation MacIveys acquire land and prosper but eventually Emma dies, and Tobias soon follows.The second generation involves Zech, Glenda, and their son Sol, who concentrate on citrus and acquire valuable land in what is now Miami and Biscayne Bay.Glenda dies in a freak accident with a cow, and Zech dies crossing a flooded stream and drowning.Sol leaves Kissimmee to start a vegetable business in the everglades which prospers.Sol meets Bonnie, but never marries her because he saw his father and grandfather mourn over their wives, yet she lives with him.Bonnie dies in a hurricane and Sol retires to his mansion on Biscayne Bay where he lives his years in solitude, until he decides he needs to move back to the cabin in Punta Rassa.
The character of Tobias, in my opinion, was the most influential character of the book.His personality was that of a strong-willed cracker trying to live and make it in the uncharted lands of Florida.A particular occurrence of Tobias being strong-willed was a scene where Tobias was driving cows over railroad tracks.A train came and ran over some of his cows.After a period of exchanging words, Tobias picked up his gun and blew a huge gash in the boiler of the train.Tobias was also quite loving, but he didnt get around to do much loving until the one he loved was gone.Tobias also lived