Devotion to Life and to Live
Willa Cather grew up living on the plains of Nebraska. The plain prairies helped influence Willa Cather into using her memory as well as her realism frame working to create the familiar stories we know today such as My Antonia, O Pioneers, One of Ours, and many more. Cather’s fiction is characterized by a strong sense of place, the subtle presentation of human relationships, an often unconventional narrative structure, and a style of clarity and beauty (Willa). Her books draw upon her memories and knowledge of Nebraska recreating personal relationships and stories with friends she cared most about. Although stories about prairie lands may seem dull, Cather’s writing style allowed the depths of her works to get much more meaningful and complex, and if figured out, let the reader solve the mysterious subtle hints of her moral standings and beliefs (Willa).
Willa Cather was born on December 7, 1873. She died April 24, 1947 (Willa). Cather experienced many worldly historical events throughout her life which led her to write stories about truthful events and people. For example, World War I and the struggles of the Dust bowl had a great effect on Willa’s creations. One of Ours was published in 1922. This novel is about a farm boy who comes into his own on the battlefields of France in World War I, where he dies heroically (Biblio). This book later won the Pulitzer Prize in 1922 and was said to be one of the greatest novels written from
Cather. In the 1930s, a great dust storm rolled through the southwest leaving destruction and devastation for an entire decade (Americans). Willa Cather lived through this time not directly in the dust zone but the struggles of the farmers and civilians became a theme for novels such as My Antonia and O Pioneers.
Willa Cather’s themes referred back to realism, modernism, and most importantly, her memory (Frus). She took interest in writing about romance, the frontier experience, and the alienation and initiation of the young (Reuben 1). She created characters based on real people, usually influential friends and family. Cather also believed in strong and willful women, showing the struggles, triumphs, and achievements in which her characters fought diligently for. Cather used real life examples in My Antonia and O Pioneers. These...