Chanticleer of Wilderness Road Critical Context - Essay

Meridel Le Sueur

Critical Context

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

Crockett belongs to American folklore, as he was one of the most famous frontiersmen in United States history and captured the imagination of Americans both young and old. Thus, the life story of Crockett is ideally suited for the tall tale. His tangy speech and nationalistic point of view became synonymous with the stories that sprang up about him, some spun by Crockett himself. These tall tales and legends are a profound element in American literary heritage, born of a time when Americans pushed into unexplored western lands, hunted in the untamed forests, and wrestled with the wilderness. Le Sueur has equated Crockett with these tales and has made it easier to believe that he performed such mighty deeds. Teachers will find Le Sueur’s poetic, humorous portrayal of the legendary Crockett a spirited supplement to a straight story of his life, and Chanticleer of Wilderness Road will sat-isfy students by providing them with brisk action and thrilling adventure in the form of American folklore.

Le Sueur’s book is a memorable picture of life on the early frontier and of the people who helped to carve the United States out of a wilderness. By alluding to the reason for the break between Crockett and Jackson, Le Sueur indicates an indictment of the laws that stripped the Native Americans of their lands. The pathos of the heroic struggle at the Alamo against overpowering odds kindles a flame of national pride and makes this biography a worthwhile contribution to history sources.