In Virgin Land, Henry Nash Smith cites Hamlin Garland's work, specifically "Under the Lion's Paw," as representative of the increasingly realistic portrayal of rural existence that surfaced in literature about the West in the late 19th century. Garland's story dramatizes the tension between struggling individual farmers and the speculators who controlled the Western lands. "Under the Lion's Paw" provides a vehement counternarrative to popular, romanticized notions of the "myth of the garden" which Smith analyzes in Virgin Land.
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Garland's Importance to Virgin Land
"Under the Lion's Paw"
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