American dream in willa cathers my antonia

In this case, the American Dream is presented as living successfully and comfortably with a happy marriage, children and being true to oneself. Through her characters, Cather shows how the journey to the American Dream can sometimes be interrupted by poor choices and destruction.

American dream in willa cathers my antonia

Again I have not previously read her nor sought her out even for a skim read, but she appeared to me at a secondhand sale in the form of her first novel, O Pioneers!

Again, I would not usually peruse a RD publication thanks to its murky ideological attachments — except of course in the grand old days at dentists and doctors when those little dog-eared magazines were just too, too tempting.

Cather also traveled widely and spent considerable time at her summer residence in Canada. She also wrote a biography of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the history of Christian Science Robert Dessaix might even had read this as a young man.

By the s, however, critics began to dismiss her as a romantic, nostalgic, writer who idealized the past, with little relevance to modern America, the Dust Bowl experience and Great Depression. Also the melodramatic nature of her narratives fell out of favour as tastes in literature changed.

Discouraged by negative criticism of her work, Cather became reclusive. She burned dozens of her letters and forbade anyone to publish her personal papers, including her closest female companion and possibly lover, with whom she spent many years. Alexandra is creative, innovative and determined and over the next sixteen years she creates a prosperous landholding nurturing a passionate love for the land, its flora and fauna and its people.

Alexandra is kind and generous and bold; her personal vision overrides all else and her success is very much enabled by the spirit of the times, of faith and hope in the future. There is also Crazy Ivar, a damaged alcoholic Russian who Alexandra supports and defends, acknowledging his wondrous ways with horses and his loneliness and despair.

We meet other families of the plains from Norway, Germany, and Poland, all of whom have dreams of a better life either farming or working in the small towns that service the prairie. American Indians feature less prominently. Not all is milk and honey. Her mother takes to her bed and eventually dies, but Alexander persists, ultimately proving them all wrong.

My Ántonia (Great Plains Trilogy, #3) by Willa Cather

Meanwhile, her youngest brother Emil goes to college fulfilling one of her dreams — that she can give at least one brother an education. Tragedy strikes when Emil returns and he and the now unhappily married Marie become romantically involved, only to be killed in a drunken rage by her husband.

The book ends with yet another salutation to the American dream: Attempting to turn the wild prairie into arable grain fields and orchards was a process that destroyed many settlers but inspired others — like our heroine — to work the land not just as an economic endeavor, but also as a spiritual one.

Indeed the plot line of this book is not a linear tale of poverty to riches.

American dream in willa cathers my antonia

Others endure the physical rigor and find success and prosperity once the land has been conquered, but not necessarily personal peace. She builds living fences of shrubs and hedges, ponds, beehives, fields of corn and wheat, barns and shelters using innovative techniques and trial and error.

Her big white house means little to her compared to the land itself, its produce and her animals. Carl likens her to an artist, someone who has created a living three-dimensional work of art.

This of course is the American Dream wrought in words and I was not entirely comfortable reading this book for that exact reason. It is not unlike our very own Seven Little Australians or We of the Never Never or the books of Mary Durack, all part of the romanticized mythology of pioneer days.

For Cather, goodness and courage prevail; the strong survive, the weak regrettably fall away; look forward and never backwards; this is the neat black and white mantra of fictional settlement history in America before writers like Steinbeck offered up a starker, darker and more complex view. It is easy now to be appalled at the smug self-righteousness and the Eurocentric assumptions involved, but as a document of its time there is no doubt that this book was written with love and pride.The American society frequents the term "American Dream" in its writings at speeches.

Willa Cather based her My Antonia on the American Dream. Many Americans have achieved it - the Chairman of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, being one. There is no denying that the American Dream is ach. A summary of Themes in Willa Cather's My Ántonia. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of My Ántonia and what it means.

Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. What is ‘Modernist’ about Cather’s My Antonia? Essay; American Dream in My Antonia Through using significant images and a fascinating way of telling, My Antonia describes the concept Immigration that hints diverse issues, including the language barriers, the economic problems, and isolation.

the Past in Willa Cather's My Antonia. A short Willa Cather biography describes Willa Cather's life, times, and work. the attention of the literary world with the appearance of O Pioneers!, exploring and celebrating frontier life in the American West.

My Ántonia is generally considered a modernist novel. In the early twentieth century, many authors were concerned with the. My Antonia by Willa Cather, a free text and ebook for easy online reading, study, and reference. My Antonia () is the third book in Cather's Prairie Trilogy, which began with O Pioneers!

(), and was followed by The Song of the Lark (). My Antonia tells the story of several immigrant families who move to rural Nebraska.

Jul 05,  · Willa Cather and the American Dream. A writer whose name occurs in relation to early 20 th Century literature and is being reissued by Virago Books, is the American Willa Cather.

Again I have not previously read her nor sought her out even for a skim read.

Willa Cather’s My Antonia: “The Happiness and the Curse”