Analysis Of ' O Pioneers ' By Willa Cather

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There is an Ancient Greek belief that one’s greatest strength is also his or her greatest weakness. In Willa Cather’s, O Pioneers, Marie proves this belief on many different occasions. Marie’s liveliness, which is arguably her greatest quality, acts in turn as her greatest weakness when it becomes a contributing factor to her death. Marie, a beautiful, vivacious Bohemian girl, migrates to the prairie from the city at a young age. She is used to getting attention from everyone everywhere she goes. Her personality, normal in Europe and even the city, is foreign to the plain pioneers on the prairie. She is an oddity compared to them. Because of this, Marie’s vitality gets her into a dangerous love affair with her friend, Emil, and ends up…show more content…
However, shortly after marrying, Frank and Marie have internal realizations.They need to be with different people. Frank needs a wife subservient to him, while Marie needs a more expressive and affectionate husband. Frank could not be this person to Marie because his main priority has always been and will always be his land. Marie could not be this person to Frank because her personality is too strong to conceal. Marie is a constant reminder to Frank that he is not the young, spontaneous man he used to be, which she still is. Marie, according to Alexandra is “too young and pretty for this sort of life.”(102) As mentioned before, Marie’s personality does not correspond with many aspects of prairie life. Another example of this is hunting, a leisurely activity to most. While out hunting with Emil, Marie was happy and content until it actually started. “There was a sharp crack from the gun, and five of the birds fell to the ground.”(109) After Emil shoots the birds, Marie is distraught and cannot understand why he must kill living beings. As Emil tries to comfort her, seeing her distress, Marie does not find comfort. Marie’s emotions overcome her : “she said tearfully, ‘but I didn 't think. I hate to see them when they are first shot. They were having such a good time, and we 've spoiled it all for them.’”(109) Marie expresses her sadness and illustrates an outstanding quality about her; she does not think before acting. When she is

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