Edith Bowman provides an analysis of the major themes of 'Sunset Song' by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, incorporating relevant quotations spoken by the characters. Change is seen as a negative force bringing war and death. The land is evident in the structure of the novel which reflects the farming cycle. This symbolises the bond between man and the land. Women are primarily considered through their relationship to sex, particularly looking at the sexual subjugation of Jean Guthrie and the sexual liberation of Chris Guthire. The community are presented as conservative and flawed. Chris stands apart from the narrow minded views of the community.

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Bitesize Clips

Before watching the clip, explore theme and ask students to define it. Ask them to draw a ‘theme’ mind map and list the novel’s major themes. The class should discuss how these themes are reflected through imagery, world choice and events. Consideration should be given to how the themes inter-relate. Then watch the clip and encourage students to compare their notes with the clip’s summary. Do they think the clip summarises the themes well? Ask them to consider their personal interpretations of each theme covered in the novel and write a short essay to show their understanding.