O Pioneers Essay Research Paper O PioneersAfter

O Pioneers! Essay, Research Paper

O Pioneers!

After reading the novel, O Pioneers!, it was

hard to judge whether it was a tragedy or a

triumph. I think the answer you are looking for

would be a triumph. The only way I see it as a

tragedy is that Emil and Maria died. I knew, since

page six of the book, that they were destined to be

together. It kind of broke my heart to see later

on that she had married someone else. But when her

and Emil got shot, I thought it may finish as a

tragedy. But overall, I would see it as a triumph

in the way that the Bergson’s finally got what they

wanted out of their land. It made them rich.

Also, Alexandra and Carl finally married. And

being that the whole novel was basically based on

“the land”, they were triumphant in getting what

they risked, what they longed for.

In my opinion, I think the land broke the

characters rather than the characters breaking the

land. Of course the characters had to plant and

sew the fields, but they did that every year. It

took the forever, it seemed like, for the land to

break them. That’s what the Bergson’s had worked

for their whole life. The land pulls the family

together and makes them work hard to get what they

want,…money, happiness. It makes them happy. So

yes, the land does break them more than they break

the land.

In considering Cather’s characters, I don’t

think they become fully Americanized within a

generation. At the beginning of the novel, it

seems like they are more in tuned with the rest of

America. They are economically stable. But when

Carl comes back on his first visit, Lou and Oscar

scorn him about burning Wall Street. Obviously,

America is building and becoming more advanced.

While still in Nebraska, people are relying on

their crops to get them by. They are still

dwelling on their traits, beliefs, and actions that

past generations had.

Romantic love in this particular novel is very

hard to judge whether it is necessary for human

happiness. I don’t think that it was meant to be

the moral of the story, or that love was the basis

of this particular novel, but I do think that after

reading this that it was necessary in order to be

happy. Of course, in one instance, love did end in

heartbreak, desolation, and destruction with the

scenario of Emil and Maria. But in every story,

there has to be a sad moment or a fatality that

occurs. But overall, it seemed like Alexandra

wasn’t going to be happy unless Carl came back and

she could be with him. Also, she acted as if her

money didn’t make her as happy as he did. Lou and

Oscar also had love in their life. They moved away

from the land in order to marry. Love took them

over, not the land or the desire to be rich. So

yes, I do think that love is necessary for human


Physically, I consider the men in the novel to

be the strongest. But if you look at what the

people in the novel had to overcome, emotionally, I

think the women were stronger. Well into the

novel, Lou and Oscar wanted to get rid of the land

because they didn’t believe that it was worth

anything. They kind of gave up. But Alexandra,

being the strong one of the family, hung in there

and convinced them that it would one day be worth a

lot more than when they started out. Alexandra,

throughout the whole novel had to deal with some

big tragedies. Her mother, father and brother

dying. Her best friend dying, Carl walking in and

out of her life, and having Lou and Oscar on her

back all the time. She was made to be the

strongest character of all. I found that the women

of this novel to be stronger than the men.

I never really considered generational values

all that important until I read this story. While

trying to wear Alexandra’s shoes, it made me

realize that the things we carry on generation

after generation keep getting more and more

valuable. For example, farming that land meant

more to John Bergson than anything it seemed like.

He wanted to keep that land for generations to come

because he knew it would be worth a good amount.

Alexandra wanted to keep the land in order to have

a better lifestyle. It seems like today, no one is

worried about farming the land in order to survive

in the real world. It seems that in reality,

people have to go to college and get an education

in order to make it in the world. The concerns,

anxieties, and dreams of the characters do not seem

relevant to the modern world today.


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