Finding a Lost Literacy in the Book, The Lost Lady by Willa Cather

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Characterization is arguably the key to exceptional literature. Every aspect, from speech to mannerism, is essential to a character’s effectiveness. Characters both enhance and complete a work of literature. The way a statement is whispered, or an implicit comment uttered, is vital to the way a story flows and how a novel evokes intensity. The personality of each character is the gateway to an undiscovered realm; a place only found between the confines of two covers. Characters offer insight into that vast world in order to reveal a newfound understanding of the contents on each and every page. Willa Cather’s novel exemplifies the significance of characterization impeccably. In A Lost Lady, the characters in the novel establish social influence and insurmountable change on the inhabitants of Sweet Water. The characters in A Lost Lady first institute social influence in Sweet Water through the renowned Forrester gatherings. The Captain’s nobility and charisma make him a leader amongst his associates. Simultaneously, Marian Forrester’s beauty and “lady-like” disposition make “even the hardest and coldest of [their] friends…meet the gay challenge in her eyes…” (Cather 5). By giving people of all social levels the time of day, Marian gains the respect and loyalty of everyone she encounters. The editors of American Literature Volume One agree that, socially, “Marian Forrester is the much-admired figurehead of culture and society in the town of Sweet Water…” (418). Consequently,
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