MOBI Willa Cather Ù O Pioneers eBook ✓ Ù

O Pioneers 1913 was Willa Cather's first great novel and to many it remains her unchallenged masterpiece No other work of fiction so faithfully conveys both the sharp physical realities and the mythic sweep of the transformation of the American frontier—and the transformation of the people who settled it Cather's heroine is Alexandra Bergson who arrives on the wind blasted prairie of Hanover Nebraska as a girl and grows up to make it a prosperous farm But this archetypal success story is darkened by loss and Alexandra's devotion to the land may come at the cost of love itselfAt once a sophisticated pastoral and a prototype for later feminist novels O Pioneers is a work in which triumph is inextricably enmeshed with tragedy a story of people who do not claim a land so much as they submit to it and in the process become greater than they were


10 thoughts on “O Pioneers

  1. says:

    I was entranced by the Nebraska prairie and a wonderful leading woman living a century ago a time and place I have never been but which leaped from the pages with simple craftsmanship to sculpt the landscape of my mind’s eye as Alexandra transformed both her fields and the lives of those around herThe final thirteen pages felt written by or about a different person not the author and protagonist I thought I knew Prairie SpringThe novel opens with a poem contrasting the harsh landscape with the power of youth to trigger change including“ Evening and the flat landThe toiling horses the tired menSullen fires of sunset fadingThe eternal unresponsive skyAgainst all this YouthFlaming like the wild rosesFlashing like a star out of the twilight”Part I – The Wild LandAt barely twenty Alexandra Bergson takes over her late father’s land aided by hard working but risk averse brothers Lou and Oscar aged 17 and 19 She has big plans to try new things buy land employ farmhands and get little Emil aged 5 educated Alexandra is the leading person but the landscape is the main character Everyone in The Divide is an outsider identified by their heritage Swedish French Bohemian etc as they strive to survive and conuer the harsh and unfamiliar soil and climate while battling blizzards prairie dogs snakes cholera and debt Many cling to “the Old World belief that land in itself is desirable But this land was an enigma” and there is the constant fear that “men were too weak to make a mark here” But Alexandra is a womanFirst impressions are conjured by short plain words gray anchored haphazard howling wind frozen straying straggled open plain impermanence tough prairie sod The simple but carefully chosen language of landscape reminds me of Kent Haruf’s Colorado high plains see my reviews of Plainsong and EventideThe vast bleak and beautiful place whose capricious moods both give and take life reminds me of Jón Kalman Stefánsson’s Iceland see my reviews HEREPart II – Neighboring FieldsSixteen years later and the writing style is the same but the landscape is transformed checker board fields white roads at right angles telephone cables steel windmills gaily painted farmhouses rather than being made of sod and gilded weather vanes “The brown earth with such a strong clean smell and such a power of growth and fertility in it” now “It gives itself ungrudgingly to the moods of the season holding nothing back” Humans have won Alexandra chief among them “The land had its little joke It pretended to be poor because nobody knew how to work it right”Freed from the stress of basic survival pleasure can sometimes be indulged friendships and marriages formed children born the adventure of university But it’s the tentative relationships that uietly dominate in the shadows the ones that society can’t condone view spoilerUnhappily married Marie picks cherries while Emil scythes the grass of her orchard hide spoiler


  2. says:

    Alexandra Bergson at a young age has to take care of her family and farm in Nebraska with the untimely death of their father John he wished his oldest child and smartest to guide the poor immigrants from Sweden in the 1880's everyone agrees at first struggling on the harsh prairie are also brothers Lou Oscar and five year old Emil her pet the mother knows little about farming An endless drought soon after begins the Sun baking the soil the crops withering for lack of rain year after year fail many farmers give up and leave for the cities but the Bergson's endure because of the wise and strong leadership that Alexandra brings the people around there recognize that fact The little town of Hanover a short distance away takes care of the needs of the local farmers she Alexandra often meets her only friend Carl Linstrum there from a neighboring farm still he doesn't have a clue what to do in life moody always daydreaming unsure the obvious is in front of his eyes but he cannot focus 16 years have passed the land becomes prosperous prices are skyrocketing farmers becoming well off some even rich the old evil days long forgotten the Bergson family farm has been divided between Alexandra Lou the intelligent brother and Oscar the harder worker thus makes money to the chagrin of Lou politics is his passion not farming The aimless Carl has left and lonely Alexandra has many Swedish female servants to take care of the new house and enjoys their company no log cabin like the old one even old Crazy lvar works for her he has occasional spells nothing to worry about as does Lou and Oscar a man who loves animals better than he does humans neglected his farm and loses it Emil has graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln he is thinking about becoming a lawyer a profession that doesn't appeal to him or anybody else he secretly falls in love with a married woman effervescent Marie Shabata her brooding jealous husband Frank treats her badly no love between the two has existed for years something will happen soon that will cause a scandal so the naive Emil goes to Mexico City To forget his troubles have fun and adventures meet new exciting people a different society far away from Nebraska however you can't escape your destiny Beneath the surface there is a smothering darkness a black cloud a cruel spirit a thing that can't be touched or smelled it scares yet remains hidden ready to strike they all know this truth nothing will stop the coming of that ominous force the cold wind stirs


  3. says:

    Alexandra looked at him mournfully “I try to be liberal about such things than I used to be I try to realize that we are not all made alike”Everything in O Pioneers is beauty to me I am so in love with this book Maybe it is because I have it in my brain that pioneers by definition suck that Willa Cather always catches me by surprise and turns me upside down It’s like walking through an alien landscape and then running into my best friend I thought what I would find was Michael Landon crying into a butter churn and here you are everything that is wonderful about humans Still I never know whether to recommend that other people read this book or whether it is better to just keep it to myself As Alexandra says we are not all made alike and maybe what is beauty and revelation to me is Michael Landon crying into a butter churn to youIt’s so easy to say why I hate writing and difficult to say why I love it I want to compare Cather to Hemingway because of how steady and careful their writing is because of how speculation about their lives cheapens conversations about their stories but no I want to say Cather writes what is in my soul but that’s not right either What she writes is as much her own world as it is my reality but that doesn’t make her wisdom easy or her power arrogant She is not looking for my approval but she is looking outside herself for some kind of truthAt a particularly conflicted time in my life I went to a club with some friends and I saw a girl dancing like I have never seen anyone dance in my life She had cleared out as space for herself to the side of the stage and it was like every part of her body was electric It was not only beautiful it was also full of life Where I didn’t know which way to turn this girl was in the Place doing the Thing Reading O Pioneers is like watching that girl Everything is alive in this book But again I’m struck by the feeling that it may not be alive to you as it is to me I’ll give you a few descriptions as objectively as I can and you can judge for yourself It is about contrasts country and city speed and slowness youth and age passion and steadiness inspiration and hard work deprivation and entitlement It is operatic It is kooky at times and kind but not funny It is understated and even handed It is written by a woman It is about women and men who are all sometimes as passionate as people are and other times as wise as people should be It is specific but not petty There are awkward parts specifically book 2 chapter 9 though I even think that scene is beautifulIt’s difficult to talk about this book without spoiling it and I think a spoiler would really spoil the story So I’ll just say one last thing that I hope won’t be a spoiler but might so be warned People get angry with authors who won’t let their characters die and see it as a sign of accomplished writing to kill a character I think because of that I see a lot of bad storytelling mistaken for good storytelling if the author tortures or kills the characters I really hate when people think character abuse is maturity At the same time though I think there is something right about trusting an author if the author allows unhappiness into the story Authors are writing to an audience and I think they should be writing to entertain so there is value to me in making stories better than life At the same time there is truth in sadness and if a writer can’t look at sadness she has sacrificed truth to entertainment Cather balances truth and entertainment in a way that is completely devastating She loves her characters and lets every one of them grow as humans grow with human joys and human tragedies It is painful and beautiful to watch I almost want to read this book again right away but too much wisdom in one month can’t be good for my health I’ll take a little break first and watch some reality TV to balance out my wisdom intake Just you know for my health


  4. says:

    Can we even imagine what it was like for the early homesteaders and pioneers arriving most likely from somewhere in Europe in a last ditch effort to make something out of nothing? There it is before them – a vast lonely rolling plain of earth meeting a vast lonely infinite sky Where does one even begin?In this novel Willa Cather takes us on a journey where we see exactly where it begins – with sod huts or log cabins or some form of shelter Then comes the dawn to dark labour of breaking the ground to plant seeds to feed themselves and their animals if they have anyAnd through this novel we are also introduced to people who have a vision broader than just survival A vision that eventually bears fruit as the earth begins to give back rather than just take And so the cycle of life begins where people and animals give to the earth and the earth produces for the people and animals gradually rewarding each other for mutual benefitThis is part of the story in this book but only a part Wherever there are human beings they bring their stories and they create and re create their stories As with all human stories over time there is great joy accompanied by great sorrow and tragedy sits next to both temptation and triumphWhat I appreciate most deeply in reading Willa Cather’s writing is the poetic flow that feels as natural as the wind rustling through a field of wheat While I paused many times to allow her words to sink in as deeply as possible the narrative was only enhanced by those reflective momentsThis is the first part of Willa Cather’s Great Plains Trilogy and I look forward to reading the next one as soon as possible


  5. says:

    I read this book many times Why? Its a beautiful book and georgous stage play This was the first professional 'Euity' play our daughter was in at the age of 9I want to read another Willa Cather book soon My Antonia was also wonderfulA book I haven't read yet and would like to is The Professor's House Willa Cather is a beautiful writer


  6. says:

    Published in 1913 this novel brings the harsh Nebraska prairie to life  To the ones who farm it the sensible ones the dreamers and the ones who recognize the value of mending other people's fences  A pure love and belief of the land those who are content with their lot and those who are unable to contemplate a lifetime of the backbreaking labor that is demanded  How much easier it is to lose happiness than it is to find it  Simple full of life loves and regrets


  7. says:

    O Pioneers Great Plains Trilogy #1 Willa Cather O Pioneers is a 1913 novel by American author Willa Cather written while she was living in New York It is the first novel of her Great Plains trilogy followed by The Song of the Lark 1915 and My Ántonia 1918 O Pioneers tells the story of the Bergsons a family of Swedish American immigrants in the farm country near the fictional town of Hanover Nebraska at the turn of the 20th century The main character Alexandra Bergson inherits the family farmland when her father dies and she devotes her life to making the farm a viable enterprise at a time when many other immigrant families are giving up and leaving the prairie The novel is also concerned with two romantic relationships one between Alexandra and family friend Carl Linstrum and the other between Alexandra's brother Emil and the married Marie Shabata ‎O pioneers‬ ‎Willa Cather ; edited by Susan J Rosowski Charles W Mignon with Kathleen Danker; historical essay and explanatory notes by David Stouck‬ ‎Lincoln‬ ‎University Of Nebraska Press‬ ‎1992 1371‬ ISBN ‎080321457X‬ XI 391 Pagesتاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و پنجم ماه آوریل سال 1994 میلادیعنوان اوه، پیشگامان کتاب اول از سه گانه چمنزار؛ نویسنده ویلا سیلبرت کاذر کاتر؛ موضوع داستان خواهران و برادران زنان کشاورز سده 20مسه گانه چمنزار کتاب نخست «اوه، پیشگامان 1913 میلادی»؛ کتاب دوم «آهنگ لارک 1915 میلادی»؛ کتاب سوم «آنتونیای من 1918 میلادی»؛روانشاد بانو «ویلا کاتر زاده روز هفتم ماه دسامبر سال 1873میلادی درگذشته بیست و چهارم ماه آوریل سال 1947میلادی، نویسنده زن آمریکایی برنده ی جایزه «پولیتزر» برای داستان بودند؛ این نویسنده آمریکایی، بیشتر شهرت خود را از طریق خلق رمانهایی به دست آوردند که به زندگی نخستین مهاجرین اروپایی، ساکن در ایالات غربی آمریکا می‌پرداختند، و از شیوه‌ های زندگی در دشت‌های بزرگ حکایت داشتند؛ آثاری همانند «اوه پیشگامان»، «آنتونیای من»، و «نغمهٔ لارک آهنگ لارک»، از جمله ی این قبیل آثار ایشان بشمار می‌آیند؛ در سال 1923میلادی ایشان برای نگارش رمان «یکی از ما، انتشارات ماهی، برگردان نسرین شیخ نیا»، که در سال 1922میلادی نگاشته شده بود، موفق به دریافت جایزه «پولیتزر» گردیدند؛ ایشان همچنین مجموعه رمان‌هایی نیز در ارتباط با جنگ جهانی نخست آفریده اندتاریخ بهنگام رسانی 17041399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا شربیانی


  8. says:

    I just want to say that the last 15 pages of this book are for me worth 50 of the most important and significant books of this centuryI don’t have much to say except that the greatest grace that a person can live and experience today is surely forgiveness knowing how to love leaving the life of others free even though it is not corresponding to our projectsAlexandra is a rigid woman firm and integral in her thought and love but has been able despite experiencing pain and tragedy how to be reborn and resurrected to new life Her sins did not comdemned to a claustrophobic life or left her to a unuseful morality Her greatest pain has been transformed to a capacity to spread love even to the man that created that tragedy and killed in her familyNeedless to say our beloved Willa Cather is definitely an author who shows you the way the tiring but wonderful path that is the everyday life Dico solo che le ultime 15 pagine di uesto libro valgono come 50 libri tra i piu importanti e significativi di uesto secolonon ho molto da dire se non che la grazia piu' grande che un uomo possa vivere e provare al giorno d'oggi è sicuramente uella del perdono del saper amare lasciano libera la vita degli altri nonostante non sia corrispondente ai nostri progettiAlexandra è una donna rigida ferma e integra nel suo pensiero e a ma che ha saputo nel dolore e nella tragedia saper rinascere e risorgere a vita nuovanon c'è bisogno di dire altro e la nostra amatissima Willa Cather è sicuramente un'autrice che ti indica la strada il cammino faticoso ma stupendo che è la vita di ogni giorno


  9. says:

    The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a womanI don't know why I haven't read this before it seems like the kind of novel I should have been assigned in 9th grade but I'm glad I read it as an adult because I wouldn't have appreciated it as much when I was younger I am from the Midwest and my grandparents were farmers and I loved Willa Cather's stories about what it was like for the pioneers in Nebraska I liked Cather's spare writing style; she gives just the right amount of description and action and then moves on to the next chapter In this way we get a complete picture of the whole life of Alexandra Bergson without the story ever draggingHis sister was a tall strong girl and she walked rapidly and resolutely as if she knew exactly where she was going and what she was going to do nextAlexandra is such a strong character she was as defiant as the land she was trying to tame At one point I got so angry when some men tried to bully her that I slammed the book shut in frustration My break didn't last long and I should have known that Alexandra would get her way in the endWe come and go but the land is always here And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it for a little whileI think I reacted so strongly to O Pioneers because it reminded me of the stories my grandmother would tell about running a farm during the Depression It is easy to romanticize this time period and to forget the backbreaking work that went into taming the land to grow crops and support a family I would recommend this book to anyone who has an appreciation for the land or who likes strong female charactersUpdate September 2013 I am rereading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books which are about another pioneering American family and it reminded me of how much I loved this Willa Cather novel I have thought about O Pioneers many times since I read it a year ago I would put it on a list of Books To Read To Understand America Perhaps this is my background in sociology talking but I like stories that show how a country was formed Aside from the politics and the war you still need families who are doing the hard work to build homes and grow food and create new towns You can't have a nation without everyday people Here's to all the pioneers of the world


  10. says:

    Once again a second time I was at the mercy of Willa Cather's writing and closed this book with a feeling of accomplishment as a reader as well as a human beingIn my world than a century after this novel was written we still battle nature on a daily basis and we are aware that nature will return the moment we leave this little piece of earth for a respite With seed roots and rain the stories of ages of human history will be covered in an instant wiped away as though we never walked these paths a few million times through the slow passing of timeWilla Cather gloriously painted the lives of pioneers in the unforgiving virginal wilderness at the turn of the 20th century somewhere between 1883 and 1890 by describing the toughness and resilience of a group of immigrants in surviving the harshness of life on the prairies of Nebraska The Bergsons children and their neighbors established a strong community through stubborn pride and dreams It was their dreams after all that kept hope alive and celebrated the good times when it finally arrived However tragic love diverse opinions and hard manual labor drove those who preferred to stay behind when the less experienced farmers were forced to leave Alexandra Bergson instinctively took the road less traveled the one on which love took a second place and meticulous learning challenged old ideas and the less brave combatants against nature preferred to leave She compassionately took care of neighbors family and friends by making choices that left herself devoid of love and allowed loneliness to become her a life companion The ones who benefited the most appreciated her the least but her promise as well as understanding of her father's insight into the land and its possibilities made her stick to her dreams and decisions The most important theme in the novel starts out in the beginning of the book in the little town Hanover Nebraska in the bitterly cold winter when Alexandra's little brother Emil's little kitten got chased up a telephone pole by stray dogs He is waiting for her at the store while she is at the doctor's office Carl Linstrum a neighbor arrives to rescue the little kitten on Alexandra's reuest for help In the store where they try to warm up again they meet the exotic Bohemian little girl Marie Tovesky who with her sunny disposition brown curly hair like a brunette doll's her coaxing little red mouth and round yellow brown eyes with their golden glints like the Colorado mineral called tiger eye attracts men like flies even as a toddler The plot centers around the strong bonds of friendships which pushes love aside for most of the book yet cannot manage to deny this strong attraction between humans in the best and worst of ways Two love stories with two different endings snake through the tale Two relationships are tested by different rules Perseverance nestles itself in different situations leaving the people involved exhausted or dead This book is so rich in emotional ironies that I sat back afterwards and wondered why it was banned numerous times by the American Library Society The kaleidoscope of human activities driven by strong emotional intensity portrayed people in all their splendor What part of this masterful text of human nature in all its intricate ways insulted some readers enough to have it banned? “And now the old story has begun to write itself over there said Carl softly Isn’t it ueer there are only two or three human stories and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before; like the larks in this country that have been singing the same five notes for thousands of years” Since love does not form the center of the plot although many readers probably wanted it to do so it does play out in the hearts of lonely often desperate people It becomes a secondary underlying force in the book The major focus in my humble opinion is the relationship between the different role players and their land Alexandra The land belongs to the future Carl; that's the way it seems to me How many of the names on the county clerk's plat will be there in fifty years? I might as well try to will the sunset over there to my brother's children We come and go but the land is always here And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it for a little whileLove becomes the third member of the marriage between humans and nature resulting in an overcrowding of the relationship Tears of joy and sorrow follows as can be expected This was a magnificent read The prose lends itself to numerous memorial uotes Willa Cather knew how to sell this part of the Divide to her readers with her poetic descriptions of the land and the people who conuered it HIGHLY RECOMMENDED