* Aunt Alexandra is waiting up for them when they get home (still wearing her corset even under her bathrobe, Scout thinks), and tells Atticus she’s sorry he lost the case.
After Alexandra’s father, John Bergeson became sick he knew that she would have to be the one in charge of their land. His two older sons were hard workers but knew nothing in comparison to Alexandra when it came down to the logistics of the farm. John even stated “the boys were not as half intelligent as their sister” (Cather, 1987, p. 76). John’s dying wishes were to keep the land going and to never leave even when times were tough and that is exactly what Alexandra did. By leaving Alexandra in charge of the land Cather is showing her beliefs that women are beyond capable of being in charge and making decisions without men. She built her own empire by turning the untamed land into prosperous country side and she became one of the most successful farmers on the divide even after a long sixteen-year struggle.
According to National Geographic, 40% of the Earth today is farmland—soil being manipulated to feed the 7.6 billion human beings on this world. We have taken over this world like ants swarming to a piece of rotting fruit, without much thought to the organisms that have been on Earth long before us. Our lives may be easier in that we do not have to forge for our food or water anymore, but with the stress of today’s world, was the tradeoff worth the natural land? Willa Cather’s novel, O Pioneers! brings attention to the way we choose to use the land, whether it is in our best interests, the land’s, or both. The characters in O Pioneers! demonstrate how in order to maintain a successful relationship with the land we live on, it is necessary to be able to both adapt to the land and mold it to fit our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Willa Cather’s My Antonia and Mary Austin’s The Land of Little Rain are two literary works that effectively recreate the landscape of the stories they are telling. Their writing styles have a few similar characteristics, such as their word choice and their usage of visual elements; however, they take advantage of various writing elements that make their writing styles distinct, such as the use of figurative language, emotion, and rhetorical questioning.
She first proves her personality traits by trying to change Scout into more of what she thinks is a lady. Although Scout explains that she will not change her tom-boyish ways, Alexandra goes as far as moving in with the Finches hoping to have a feminine influence on Scout. Alexandra then learns of the trial and convicts Atticus of “turning out a nigger lover”. Further regarding Alexandra’s prejudice ways, she disregards the fact that Calpurnia was not important the Finches, nor does she play an essential role in Scout’s life due to her
Alexandra maintains the stereotypical concept of what is the white southern feministic racist. All of the attributes sort of melt together and perpetuate one another. She retains her feministic way by getting Calpurnia, the black helper, to do all of her physical labor for her. An example of this behavior is present in the scene in which Alexandra arrives at the Finches’ house and commands Calpurnia to take her suitcase and her belongings upstairs so she can retain the feministic southern air about her. The prejudice attitude she has is also being passed down through the family. In one scene Scout beats up her annoying cousin for calling Atticus a “nigger-lover”. The only thing Alexandra does is getting on to scout for fighting and telling her it is unladylike to fight (Richards).
O Pioneers!(1993) by Willa Cather begins on a blustery winter day, in the town of Hanover, Nebraska, sometime between 1883 and 1890. The narrator introduces four main character: the very young Emil Bergson; his older sister, Alexandra; her friend Carl Linstrum; and a little girl, Marie Shabata. Alexandra's father, John Bergson, is dying. He tells his two oldest sons, Lou and Oscar, that he is leaving the farmland, and all of what he has accomplished, to their sister.
In the novel O Pioneers! the author Willa Cather?s vision of Alexandra Bergson is consistent in character treatment with other authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne (Scarlet Letter), and Stephan Crane (Maggie: A Girl of the Streets). In each novel, all authors possess a central character that has an obvious tension between themselves and their community. Unlike the previous authors, Cather?s sympathies lie toward Alexandra. She makes Alexandra seem artificial because she has given a woman (also being her main character) strength and courage, along with power to overcome those who wish to pull her down.
The title of Philip Roth’s novel, Goodbye, Columbus, is symbolic of the journey one must take to define one’s individuality or discover one’s life purpose. Superficially, the title is a reference to the ending lyrics of Ron’s senior yearbook album as well as the physical location of Ohio State University in which Ron Patimkin graduated from. With closer analysis, it becomes evident that the title extends to a much deeper meaning of the overall theme of self-examination and self-identity for the protagonist, Neil Klugman. The title, Goodbye, Columbus, primarily acts as an essential metaphor between the expedition Christopher Columbus takes in search of a westward route to India and the life journey Neil embarks upon to discover his identity both in terms of his socioeconomic status and Jewish heritage. The title both clarifies and foreshadows the fate Neil ultimately realizes as he pursues a relationship with Brenda Patimkin.
Ever since the case involving Tom Robinson, Alexandra has questioned everything she’s known and felt about the “negroes.” Sure Calpernia is alright and Helen seemed like a nice person, but what about the rest? Alexandra’s mind was a beehive; running with thoughts and questions2. Alexandra had always heard awful things about the “negroes” and how disgusting they were from a great majority of the community, but Atticus didn’t think so and neither did a few others. The trial of Tom Robinson and Atticus have helped her see how wrong they were treating them, but there was absolutely no way she would voice her own opinion out loud in fear. She is a lady, and she had her place in society. A political leader is definitely not what a lady is supposed to be.
The tale opens at Goodman and Faith Brown’s house, in the doorway where the protagonist is telling his wife goodbye, and where she is trying to dissuade him from his planned adventure on this particular night. Most of the elements in this setting are positive, bright, hopeful: a sunset; a familiar street and home; pink ribbons on Faith’s cap.