Friday, July 19, 2019

Analysis of Willa Cathers OPioneers! :: Willa Cathers OPioneers! Literature Essays

Analysis of Willa Cather's O'Pioneers! Willa Cather’s best known novel, O’Pioneers!, is an epic story of hope and courage in the late 1800s on the American frontier. During the story, the main character Alexandra Bergson grows to love her land in central Nebraska. The land is her home and livelihood. The land is the reason her father moved them there in early 1880s. The land known as the Divide proves to be a very tough place to live. It will drive many of the settlers away, but in time shows the strength and strong-willed personality of Alexandra. This story represents an unconventional love story where there is more love from a person for the land, rather than for a human being. When John Bergson, Alexandra’s father dies, she inherits the farm and takes the responsibility of taking care of the land. He entrusts her with the farm because he knows she will work hard to save the farm. Because she is the oldest child, she must set the example for her younger brothers Emil, Lou, and Oscar. (The story gives very little reference to their mother, who also dies.) As the story progresses, Alexandra learns new farming techniques from Ivar (who later becomes a servant) and the farm soon becomes more successful than any of the other farms on the Divide. About three years after the story begins, Carl Linstrum, Alexandra’s best friend moves away. This is very hard for Alexandra because they are very close. Carl is the only person who understands her. This is not the only hardship that she has to endure; moreover, her closest brother, Emil, and her best friend Marie Shabata are killed later on in the story by Marie’s jealous husband Frank. Alexandra looks at the land like it is her best friend, possibly even like a human being. She constantly looks for ways to improve it. This gives her more pleasure than anything else, and yet she is comfortable with being emotionless from her the outside world.

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