Willa Cather's O Pioneers !

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Willa Cather was born on December 7, 1873, in the back creek valley of virginia. Willa was born during the civil war period, her paternal grandfather, william Cather, was opposed to slavery and had remained loyal to the north during the civil war (Meltzer 10). Due to her family political issues later, the adult Willa would shy away from causes, whether political or social, trusting herself and others to do the right thing and to offer generous help to individuals in need (12). Willa was homeschooled. Grandmother Boak taught her to read and write, and read aloud to her from the Bible, Pilgrim 's progress, and Peter Parley 's Universal History (15). Later on after Willa 's grandfather went and visit her uncle George Cather, he decided…show more content…
Willa Cather 's O Pioneers! indeed influenced her life, Cather reflected herself on the main protagonist of O Pioneers! Alexandra. She is a resourceful, practical person who loves and understands the land as no one else in the novel does. Cather feels that her career as a novelist really began with O Pioneers! was an abiding one and was restated in an essay she wrote in 1931 for The Colophon titled "My First Novels [There Were Two]"(Mignon 105). Louise Bogan commented "She used her powers... in practicing fiction as one of the fine arts" and praises her for not being among those "writers of fiction who compromised with their talents and their material in order to amuse or soothe an American business culture" (Cengage 2). Cather creates a new kind of American literature by teaming a feminist perspective with a disregard for traditional literary ideals, and by writing fiction about ordinary working people. Alexandra combines the attributes of both sexes on the frontier. She has the vision and energy to tame the wild land, a role usually assigned to male pioneers, and the stabilizing, nurturing traits traditionally belonging to pioneer women. One of the first physical descriptions of Alexandra is She wore a man 's long ulster (not as if it were an affliction, but as if it were very comfortable and belonged to her; carried it like a young soldier), and a round plush cap, tied down with a thick veil (Cather 30). This is very similar to Cather herself, she always has a men spirit, and this led her to take "man 's job"; she is also frequently dressed in men 's clothing, wore her hair short, and, on occasion, went by the name william (Cengage 3). She included her knowledge of Nebraska and her landscape description of Nebraska also is a key point in O Pioneers!. She later said that she wrote the book for herself and "ignored all the situations and accents that were then generally thought to be necessary"(Woodress 81). There are a number of elements in

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