Claude Wheeler In Willa Cather's One Of Ours

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Claude Wheeler is he protagonist in Willa Cather’s combination of five books called One of Ours published in 1922. Within these five books we get to vicariously walk through the life of Wheeler from his time in college whilst residing in Frankfort, Nebraska to his last moments in life in the murky French trenches during World War I. Wheeler is a Nebraska native, a son, a brother and a young man looking for his meaning of self in the world. His father, Mr. Nat Wheeler, is a very successful farmer and Mrs. Evangeline Wheeler, his supportive mother is a devoutly religious mother of three sons. Although, not by choice, Wheeler attends a religious university and this seems like the perfect life course for a young studious man with good financial backing. In fact, Wheeler often finds himself unfulfilled with this stable and secure life. He doesn’t find farming or his university in any way challenging and intriguing. It isn’t until he reserves a seat in a European historical class that he starts to find something that stimulates a journey towards his…show more content…
Perhaps there are many sons like Wheeler who found identity in war. Then again we have his older brother Bayliss that sought identity as a businessman. So it makes one wonder just why war gave Wheeler a very distinct purpose. I find that it is because the meaning of his livelihood changed, this was his upshot into the reality of being needed. Wheeler was no longer just a person, he became one to be viewed as a treasure or placed on a pedestal for his devout courage and selflessness. This selflessness, nobility developed Claude Wheeler into becoming a hero. In a sense he became his own hero as well, and why do I say this? It is because in a humanistic and symbolic way he saved himself from the self-imposed and perhaps societal damnation of walking the earth
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