The West, also known as the "frontier", is a place of wealth, adventure, opportunity, and untrammeled individualism (The Unfinished Nation, 429). To Rachel Calof the west was a place of horror, and rugged-individualism, but also growth, and new beginnings. She conquered many fears, and went through many harsh times, while managing to raise and provide for a family.
Rachel Calof is a woman of many virtues; born in Russia in 1876, she has two brothers and one sister. Throughout most of her life she takes care of her family both physically and mentally. Rachel is an extremely self-sufficient girl, and this is seen in many ways throughout the novel. When in her teens, Rachel is sent to live with her Grandfather in Chvedkifka, Russia. She lives with him and is regarded only as a slave because he is ashamed to have her in his family. At the age of seventeen she convinces her Grandfather to allow her to live with her aunt, and work as her maid.
One year later she is offered the opportunity to move to America to accompany and inevitably marry a man named Abraham Calof. She jumps at the chance to move to America, and is soon on a train to Hamburg, Germany to catch the ship to America to begin her new life. Once in America she begins to trust her new fiancÃÂ©, and together they move to North Dakota to make claim on new land.
North Dakota became a large struggle for Rachel Calof both internally and externally. Rachel's first sight of the people and their home made her "heart sink" and she "vowed never to live that way in her home" (Rachel Calof's Story, 23). After only a short period of time in the strange new country, Rachel is left alone with Abe's...