Beyond the Divide is about a young Amish girl who felt suffocated living in the Amish community. Meribah Simon had grown up in the Amish community and the strict rules of the community felt like walls closing in around her. Her father had been shunned by the elders of the community and when Meribah found out that her father was leaving to join the gold rush she decided to go with him. On the trip to California there were many good times and just as many bad; if not more. On the journey she and her father were traveling with a group of people that were going to California as well.
When her father got sick and they could not go any further the group left them behind. Meribah had to take care of her sick father and scavenge for food. They lived like this for a while until a man found them that they had met earlier in their travels. He was a leader of a group he was taking to California. He took them in and when they were close to their destination Meribah’s father died and she got left alone. She fended for herself until some very kind Indians took her in and she learned their way of life.
The opportunity to go back to the white people presented itself to her but she did not take it, but instead chose to live her life in the wilderness. Beyond the divide is a book filled with love, greed, and determination. Many changes came about in Meribah’s life after her father got shunned. When Meribah’s father was shunned by the community she still loved him. She would give him little notes of what was going on in the family because even his own family could not speak to him.
There was a greater bond between Meribah and her father that even the shunning could not tear apart. Greed was a part of life for most families traveling to California. When Meribah and her father left their home they decided to go to California for the gold. They traveled with a group of people and a man that was the leader. At first everyone showed their best face but eventually the real faces came out. When some time had passed Meribah’s father had gotten a wound from helping someone fix something.
When their wagon got broken down they could not go on any further and the families with them did not want to take her father but they agreed to take her. She loved her father dearly and would not let him be left behind. The greed for gold caused many of the people to leave behind many of the others in the group for the sake of getting to the gold as soon as possible. I can’t say that I wouldn’t have been a better person than that because I have never been in such a situation.
I only hope that my choices would be different and greed would be overcome with love and the choice to stay and help a human being in need. The determination to survive was greater than just giving up and dying. Meribah and her father were left behind to fend for themselves. The cold had come and it was her job to keep her and her father alive because her father was ill and could not help. She went out and hunted for things to build a little wagon on her own. There were many things others had thrown out so there were many things to choose from.
I think that when faced with tough situations a person will somehow get through if they have the determination. Sometimes when I have to do something and there is no one to help or do it for me I feel as if I have that responsibility and I do what I have to do. Many changes came about in Meribah’s life. She left her family and eventually had to fend for her self when her father died. Eventually some Indians took her in and she lived with them. They had a structured life and whenever the snow came everyone was prepared.
Everyone had enough to eat and a warm home to stay in with the family. When there is structure and order there is less panic of trying to do things at the last minute. Overall I could say that Meribah was a brave person. When she left the family she went through a lot that she never even expected. She left knowing nothing about the outside world to learning a lot. If faced with the situations in life that she was faced with I hope that I would be able to come out of it in one piece and with a sound mind.
January 9, 2018
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