Themes of Regionalism in Cather's A Wagner Matinee Essay

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In 1904, a female author, by the name of Willa Cather, published a short story, A Wagner Matinee. Highly educated and informed, Cather demonstrated realism techniques and language throughout the short story. Most of her writing, published at the end of the realist era, was not well accepted. A Wagner Matinee strongly contradicts literary techniques and devices of Romanticism while emphasizing regionalism, a form of realism. In comparing and contrasting literary techniques and style of the Romantic and realism eras, A Wagner Matinee, by Willa Cather, would use less emphasize on specific geographical settings, the idea of achieving the American dream through hard work and difficulty, and exploit the main characters into larger than life…show more content…
The aunt is clearly worried about chores left behind in Nebraska. However, if this story exemplified traits of Romanticism, she would not have worried at all about leaving instructions for the calf and would have simply believed that everything would work itself out back at home. Aunt Georgiana would have been a carefree, go with the flow character, rather than a diligent, determined character in A Wagner Matinee. The main character, Aunt Georgiana, in A Wagner Matinee, is a woman living and struggling in a very ordinary lower class life. She follows common routine each day of her life and not much change or excitement influences her. When at the concert hall, Clark states, “She sat looking about her eyes as impersonal, almost stony, as those with which the granite Ramses in a museum watches the froth and fret that ebbs and flows about his pedestal” (Cather, 517). In a place passionately loved by Aunt Georgiana, she showed no excitement about her pastime. If set in the Romantic era, she would have shown a plethora of different emotions in the concert hall. The aunt would have been overjoyed and passionate about going to the Wagner Matinee, but instead, she shows no emotion attachment and enjoyment. A Wagner Matinee, by Willa Cather, would use less emphasize on specific geographical settings, the idea of achieving the

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