Jack drives them to Texas, and Elsa is buried in the family cemetery. Loreda longs to leave as well, and she prefers her father's dreams to her mother's dreary, joyless work ethic. Rose is a woman of strong Catholic faith, and she prays often, especially during the drought. Another small defiance against her parents small-mindedness? Hannah is the author of more than 20 novels, including the bestsellers Winter Garden, Night Road, and Firefly Lane. Does anyone know where that may be on the web? Word Count: 2203. What lessons of resilience and healing might be embedded in this story? What does she learn about motherhood from Rose? View my Affiliate Disclosure page here. He's taught one or two classes a semester in the journalism and mass communications department at Cal State Long Beach since 2006. Log in here. How did the story work for you on audio? Elsa is resilient, and readers will be drawn to her devotion to her children and her tireless efforts to keep her family well, efforts that bring her to pack them up and head west. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter north where they will live off the grid in Americas last true frontier. "Hope is a coin I carry. Our summaries and analyses are written by experts, and your questions are answered by real teachers. A testament to hope, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit to survive adversity,The Four Windsis an indelible portrait of America and the American dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation. When Elsa has to tell her children, Loreda blames Elsa (says he left her, not them), and Anthony just doesn't understand. Did you expect him to leave? He employs underpaid migrants as farm laborers and sets up an encampment for them on his property. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation. They would die of thirst and hunger before theyd give that up. (76) Do you think this attitude is a common thread in those who across generations have come to chase the American Dream? . Ant represents the thousands of children who were forced to endure the hardships of hunger, poverty, illness, and prejudice during the Dust Bowl migrations. Note: When citing an online source, it is important to include all necessary dates. What bonds Loreda and her father? He has dreams of moving to a big city and having adventures but is forced to give up his chance to attend college in the city after Elsa becomes pregnant. Along the way, Elsa develops a greater consciousness of the plight of laborers in Depression-era America, joining them in protests against the larger political and economic engines that exploit people and land alike, leading to the Dust Bowl in the first place. The Four Winds centers on one family caught up in the epic sweep of history, and, in the process, it addresses themes of hardship, discrimination, economic inequality, and the American dream. In this tale, Kristin has written a survival story about resilience, love, family, courage and the American Dream. The two protagonists of the book, Elsa and Loreda, are both fully drawn and compelling characters. The Four Winds is also a true historical fiction novel, bringing in bits and pieces of historical facts from the time periods it covers. date the date you are citing the material. When a flash flood hits the migrant camp, everyone there, including the Martinellis, lose everything. In The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah, Elsa Wolcott is a woman trying to raise two children on farm in the Great Plains during the Dust Bowl following the Great Depression. Decisions Julia made or voices that stood out? More broadly, he represents the capitalistic interests of the wealthy farm owners, who rely on exploitative labor practices to increase their profits. By 1934, the world has changed; millions are out of work and drought has devastated the Great Plains. Fighting for any kind of social equality or radical change often requires great personal sacrifice. eNotes.com, Inc. Tony tells Elsa about the importance of . How is the modern world different? Her family and her world have pared her down to inconsequence. What do Jack and the Communist union organizers offer the migrant workers, and Loreda in particular? Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as crops fail, water dries up . It is Jeans memory that inspires Elsa to commit to going on strike. Loreda longs to leave as well, and she prefers her father's dreams to her mother's dreary, joyless work ethic. Chapter-by-chapter summaries and multiple sections of expert analysis, The ultimate resource for assignments, engaging lessons, and lively book discussions. In 1921, Elsa Wolcott is a 25-year-old unmarried woman who is not particularly pretty and too tall for most men. Jack has a strong sense of justice, and he uses it to fight for those who lack the social capital to fight for themselves. It becomes apparent that there is no way to ever crawl out from under the debt burden, especially when Welty systematically cuts wages. Or losing their land? Elsa falls in love with a union organizer and helps to organize a strike against their bosses, but gets shot by the farm boss. Discussion Questions: 1. This may not be the book for you. With her reputation in ruin, there is only one respectable choice: marriage to a man she barely knows. She believes that Elsa is the one inhibiting their dreams and does not understand how her mother can work so hard around the farm for so little payoff. What about the land they farm? Did we learn from previous generations? If there are three dates, the first date is the date of the original Thank you Kristin for hours of enjoyment while listening to The Four Winds! They approach the newly-arrived Martinellis in order to welcome them to the campsite, providing Elsa with valuable information on a range of topics, including the various growing seasons, when and how to sign up for federal aid, and how to prepare the campsites water so that it is safe for drinking. Source materials at the University of Texas in Austin also helped, including the writings of novelist Sanora Babb and the memoirs of many who lived through the Dust Bowl and westward migration, Hannah says. Theyd sewn their lives together in the silent way of women unused to conversation. There were times in my journey when it felt as if that penny and the hope it represented were the only things that kept me going. (1) What is the significance of the fact that it is an American penny? Join the Conversation Follow on Instagram Add Kristin's Books to Your Goodreads List, COPYRIGHT 2023 KRISTIN HANNAH. Loreda feels especially betrayed by his departure, as she had thought the two of them would leave together. The town's teacher. "The Four Winds" is epic and transporting, a stirring story of hardship and love that is likely to lead to a film adaptation (Hannahs previous best-selling novel, "The Nightingale," is getting a film adaptation later this year starringDakota and Elle Fanning). After falling ill during her childhood, Elsa was told she had a weak heart, and her family kept her isolated. How might others struggles inspire us? Why do you think that is? She was Rafes wife, but she was not a viewpoint character, and it was not in any way her story. She is enthralled by Jacks charisma and the devotion of his fellow organizers to the cause of fair pay. Life in California is not at all what the migrants expected, what advertisements had led them to believe. See the archives. They pack up the truck and head west, while Tony and Rose stay behind to salvage what they can of the farm. Years later, when Loreda is 18, she bids a final farewell to Elsa and the farm as she heads back to California to attend college, the fulfillment of her mothers most important wish. And you couple that with the reality of the impacts of climate change. It is a triumph of storytelling both timely and timeless, from a masterful writer at the height of her powers. Unlike any other person in her life, he made her feel valued. What does Rafe represent to Elsa on the night they meet? Hannah hopes that readers will love Elsa as she does. During the COVID- 19 pandemic, Americans were faced with many of the same challenges of the Great Depression. She sees early on that the land is dying and tries hard to convince her family to leave for California, though much of this desire is based on the fanciful notions that Rafe has instilled in Loreda about living in a big city and becoming famous. Then, slowly, he closed the door behind him. As a professional organizer, Jack knows that his job is dangerous, and he does his best to protect Elsa and her family. Loreda's teacher. document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); Were they really communist the union organizers, Why did they have them leave grandmas farm. Whereas Elsa grew up and became the mother that her children needed her to be, Rafe remained the same immature dreamer that he started out as, and the two became increasingly incompatible. Lets discuss Loredas new found activism and how that carried on to every decision she made going forward. Its such a vivid read and you feel like youre right there along with Elsa and her children on this hard journey. Elsa soon realizes that Welty's camp is designed to keep their workers poor and indebted to them, but she doesn't want to risk her job. Sam Shepherds work or Truman Capotes work denies the power of the kindness of strangers you may want to read Cold Millions by Jess Walters and then be that kind person who reaches across to do great good work. Massive dust storms pummel the region, covering everything in layers of grit and dust and causing an epidemic of lung disease. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. Thats not to say this book has no substance, its just that its not that kind of book. I enjoyed The Great Alone and The Nightingale, Ill have to check this one out! Download the entire The Four Winds study guide as a printable PDF! Why do you think female bonding is so important to women? Sturdy. (The Detailed Plot Summary is also available, below), (The one-paragraph version: During the Dust Bowl in the Texas Panhandle, Elsa Wolcott is a woman who dreams of going to college, but gets pregnant instead and has two kids. How does Elsa represent the courage it takes to stand up and make trouble and be counted? Did you understand her? How difficult is it to defy both family and society in a small town? Time and again, when life threatens to overwhelm her, Elsa finds strength in those around her. Her daughter, Loreda, returns home to Texas. The police lob tear gas, and Weltys thugs beat Jack senseless. The phrase "four winds" is used principally to describe the whole of the earth or heaven. I highly recommend it! Going into the novel, I had wondered how much of the trip from Texas to California would be covered. Initially hesitant of Jack and his ideals, Elsa ends up falling hard for himand experiences romantic love for the first time. How well does the narrator, Julia Whelan, fit the characters personas? Ana determines her fate during a stunning convergence of events considered among the most impactful in human history. Tony and Rose were the kind of people who expected life to be hard and had become tougher to survive. It is his optimism and childish sense of wonder that inspires Loreda and Elsa to remain strong, and they are both fiercely protective of Ant. What I keep hearing and what I believe to be true is that its a really good book for people to read right now. My land tells its story if you listen. Loreda climbs the windmill to grieve, and when Elsa tries to comfort her, Loreda won't accept her love and sadness. Its been a while since I read it, but I recall finding The Great Alone a little dreary, preferring mostly the beginning parts before the book really gets underway. Why did Elsa initially refused to move away from the farm? She wants to join, despite her mothers prohibition, and sneaks out at night to attend meetings. The last date is today's Loreda Martinelli is Elsas spirited daughter. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. They are disheveled and unkept by the time they arrive, and people are rude to them. If so, how? Ant experienced extreme sickness from the impacts of the dust storms, which finally forces Elsa to make the decision to move the family to California. Does this idea resonate with you? Rafe is unhappy, drinks heavily and dreams of going West to pursue new opportunities. However, she puts her duties as a mother ahead of all else, and she knows that she must leave in order to protect Ant. How do we face our own dark times? Chapter 5 Summary. It is Rose who supports Elsa through her years on the farm, offering wise counsel about how to deal with Rafe, how to raise children, and how to cope with grief. The catalyst for her decision is the death of her best friend, Jean Dewey, who dies from typhoid in a roadside encampment. She is sustained by her fearless aunt Yaltha, who harbors a compelling secret. Do you think the way Elsa sees Loreda is accurate? And so Ive always been fascinated by this idea of the people who stay on land for generations and pass it down, and for whom that land is a big part of their identity. Most of the things that come up are facts that youd probably heard about in history class, but having it placed into the context of a vivid and expansive story really brought to life a time period that Ive never really spent much time thinking about. How would you describe the Texas landscape the author paints? I mentioned this in my review but its eerie how the hardships presented in The Four Winds remain today and even more so due to the pandemic. This story, about family, love, & struggle during the Dust Bowl, captivated my interest from start to finish! Kristin Hannahs absorbing new novel begins just a few years before, when it seemed as if Elsa Wolcottmight finally have a peaceful, fulfilling life ahead. 1934: 6: Milo : Motherhood changes Elsa in almost every way. Businesses have been devastated and so many people have lost work. Do you think sharing these stories will make a difference to future generations? I think that has real messages for today.. What dreams do they share? By 1934, Loreda is 12 and has a difficult relationship with her mother. There was a quiet knock on the door. Interestingly, Elsa believes herself a failure as a mother for her inability to pull her family out of poverty, but Loredas perspective is quite different. In what ways does hope anchor us in the moment, and in what ways does it push us forward? Hope is a coin I carry. Rafe is her only surviving child, and she admits to having spoiled him as a result. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah is a historical novel about the Dust Bowl and subsequent westward migration by drought-stricken farmers. With her reputation in ruin, there is only one respectable choice: marriage to a man she barely knows. Rafe's abandonment of his family is based on a widespread phenomenon that occurred during the Dust Bowl era, as increasingly destitute and desperate men abandoned their families in order to. The doctor advises Elsa to get out of Texas. Im also guessing that this will be a hit with book clubs, given that its accessible and tells a relatively fast-paced story. forest river salem villa estate,