Imagination needs inspiration to bloom.


The Emigrants by Vilhelm Moberg

"Utvandrarna", "The Emigrants", was published 1949 and is the first in a tetralogy about the Swedish emigrants during the 1800's. The conditions for the Swedish people back then were terrible, especially for the farmers. The ground was rocky and dry, nothing grew. The possibilities were very limited in the country-side. The men ended up with the same kind of work as their parents, often taking over their work on the farm, or becoming a farm boy somewhere else. The women were married to other farmers. Everyone fought against poverty and famine.

Karl Oskar and Kristina are fed up with their life in Småland and decide to embark on a small ship to Amerika, the mystical country where everything seems to be possible, and where there are no priests that decide what is right and wrong and you address everyone the same. Their opinions are without criticism. Amerika seems to be the perfekt place. The emigrants from Småland - Karl Oskar and Kristina, the young and curious Robert, the mistreated Arvid, the prostitute Ulrika and the religious Daniel, the latter belonging to "åkianerna", a group of a kind of puritanism - embark on the ship to Amerika. The crowded journey becomes a great challenge. It's interesting to be able to see the world from their perspective, their reflections of life and theories about the sea.

This is a glimpse of Swedish history. Many people have fought like these people for survival in a country with limited opportunities. The change Sweden has gone through in a hundred years is mind-blowing. When reading about priest's house calls examinations and the way farmers treated their workers, it's difficult to realize it's the same country as today. The hunger and poverty were wide-spread in the countryside. Everyone should think about and thank our ancestors for fighting so hard, it's through them we are living today.

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