Willa Cather

An analysis of the common elements in the works of Willa Cather.

This paper looks at a range of Cather’s short stories and novels that show that there are certain common characteristics in her works. These include common themes, common settings, common characters, and a common writing style. The paper looks at each of these features, utilizing various examples of Cather’s work, including: “A Lost Lady”; “Lucy Gayheart”; “My Antonia”; “O! Pioneers”; “The Song of the Lark”; and “The Troll Garden”.
“One of Cather’s common themes is based on the struggle of women, with Cather often presented undervalued, but heroic female characters. This is seen in the novel A Lost Lady, which details the life of Marian Forrester. Marian is married to an older man and they live in a small Midwestern town. Initially, it is seen that Marian is not well-respected by her husband and really only seen as a trophy wife. Marian proves her worth as a wife when her husband becomes ill, where she continues to take care of him. At the same time, Marian is not presented as a perfect woman, as she does begin having an affair because her husband is not capable of meeting her needs.”