Willa Seibert Cather (1873 -1947)

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Willa Seibert Cather (1873 -1947). American Frontier West Female. Art. What did “Antonia” symbolize? And how is it reflected at the very end? What artful way did Cather structure Jim’s narration? How does the transformation of the land mirrors the transformation of Jim?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Willa Cather

Willa Seibert Cather(1873 -1947)American FrontierWestFemaleArtWhat did Antonia symbolize? And how is it reflected at the very end?What artful way did Cather structure Jims narration? How does the transformation of the land mirrors the transformation of Jim?

Optima dies prima fugit(Vergil)Pg 494During the burning day when we were crossing Iowa, our talk kept returning to a central figure, a Bohemian girl whom we had known long ago and whom both of us admired. More than any other person we remembered, this girl seemed to mean to us the country, the conditions, the who adventure of our childhood. To speak her name was to call up pictures of people and places, to set a quiet drama going in ones brain.Pg 501I tried to go to sleep, but the jolting made me bite my tongue, and I soon began to ache all over. When the straw settled down I had a hard bed. Cautiously I slipped from under the buffalo hide There seemed to be nothing to see; no fences, no creeks or trees, no hills or fields There was nothing but land: not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made I had the feeling that the world was left behind, that we had got over the edge of it, and were outside mans jurisdiction. I had never before looed up at the sky when there was not a familiar mountain ridge against it. But this was the complete dome fo heaven, all there was of it The wagon jolted on, carrying me I knew not whither. I dont think I was homesick. If we never arrived anywhere, it did not matter. Between the earth and that sky I felt erased, blotted out. I did not say my prayers that night: here, I felt, what would be would be.Pg 688-9To the south I could see the dun-shaped river bluffs that used to look so big to me, and all about stretched drying cornfields, of the pale-gold color I remembered so well. Russian thistles were blowing across the uplands and piling against the wire fences like barricades. Along the cattle paths the plumes of golden-rod were already fading into sun-warmed velvet, gray with gold threads in it. This was the road over which Antonia and I came on that night when we got off the train at Black Hawk and were bedded down in the straw, wondering children, being taken we knew not whither For Antonia and for me, this had been the road of Destiny; had taken us to those early accidents of fortune which predetermined for us all that we can ever be. Now I understood that the same road was to bring us together again. Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past.3Artful LifeLifeWriting1873 Born in Virginia1883 Move Nebraska1891-95 University of Nebraska 1896 Meet McClung and move in with her family 1906 Move to New York1908 Meet Sarah Orne Jewett1912 Visited Nebraska. Move in with Edith Lewis 1914 Meets Olive Fremstad1918 Visited Nebraska, learn about soldier cousin 1925 Deserts of New Mexico 1928 Father Dies 1931 Mother dies1938 Brother and McClung dies 1945 Other brother dies1947 Dies in New Hampshire 1893 -95 Nebraska State Journal1892 Publish Peter1896 Home Monthly1903 April Twilight (poems)1905 Troll Garden (short stories)1906 McClures magazine 1912 Publish Alexanders Bridge1913 O Pioneers!1914 The Song of the Lark1918 My Antonia1921 One of Ours1923 Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours. A Lost Lady1925 The Professors House 1927 Death Comes for the Archbishop 1931 Shadows on the Rock1935 Lucy Gayheart1940 Sapphira and the Slave Girl Like antonia she returns to her past4

The intensity of her dedication, the force of her personal determination to put her writing first, last, and always, became legendary She was engaged in her search for perfection; nothing less would satisfy her. And to her this endeavor seemed worth whatever sacrifice might be demanded If you had two tickets for heaven, I wouldnt go! (Gerber58)

Dedication to art5Thesis AThrough artful application of literary devices and unique insights on the condition of the American female individuals whose internal strength allowed them to lead the pioneering efforts in the West, and desire to use her art to criticize the social trends of the new millennium -- including capitalism and commercialism, the corruption of the beauty of nature, the West Cather is able to exercise distinctive literary voice.Essay MapIn what has come to be known as her Prairie Trilogy, which includes O Pioneers! (1913), The Song of the Lark (1915), and My Antonia (1918), Cathers distinctive literary voice was forged through experiences in a rapidly changing America to communicate her personal quest of breaking new grounds in her storytelling.

Thesis BA vehement representative of an old way of life in America against the backdrop of social, technological and economical advances, Cathers classic and masterfully crafted works occupy a secure place in the American literary canon.

To say that the end of art is the creation of life is to state an ideal; but the closer the duplications of nature, the higher the art. At its peak, surmounting human limitation, art would become life itself (Gerber 138).

CatherDefinition of art

To accomplish this >9I want my new heroine to be like this, like a rare object in the middle of a table, which one may examine from all sides. I want her to stand out like this because she is the story

Sicilian apothecary jar, Elizabeth Sergeant

10Artist of LifeCatherAntoniaOne of the people who interested me most as a child was the Bohemian hired girl of one of our neighbors She was one of the truest artists I ever knew in the keenness and sensitiveness of her enjoyment, in her love of people and in her willingness to take pain (Gerber 91 92).

A Bohemian girl whom we had know long ago.... More than any other person we remembered, this girl seemed to mean to us the country, the conditions, the whole adventure of our childhood (Cather 494). Her life is the art that depicts the country, condition, etc11She lent herself to immemorial human attitudes which we recognize by instinct as universal and true She [had] that something which fires the imagination, [and] could still stop ones breath for a moment by a look or gesture that somehow revealed the meaning in common things She was a rich mine of life, like the founders of early races (Cather 680).I was entirely happy that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great (Cather 506).By becoming part of a whole, she becomes universal and true12Cathers characters chose an ideal, a vision of perfection. and regardless of what happen to them, how many illusions they had to destroy, they lived the artistic life (White 22).To live merely for the rich experience of living itself is the career she labors at with much diligence (Gerber 87). Life is art.

Rich experience is ideal, crush illusion of american dream and love13Antonia Shimerda required not analysis but worship. She was to be marveled at, something like a Sequoia that stands forever in contradiction of all ones experience (Gerber 88)While others might choose lead a life of materialistic gain, for her, the richness of her experience is enough.

Marry farmer life she tried to escape from. She choose her life

Life is palette that she paints on.14She has experienced life, created that experience into literature, and published that literature because she has wanted propagate her world of reason, truth, and beauty (White 19)

In Conclusion15