Major Themes of O Pioneers!: Discuss what you believe is the major theme and give your opinion on it.

Essay by PeterJennings666High School, 11th grade April 2004

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Book: O Pioneers!

Author: Willa Cather

Willa Cather with O Pioneers! gives readers an intriguing and gripping look into the development of the American frontier and its people. The story captivates readers primarily with its wonderful character development and with Cather's detailed descriptions of the scenery and setting in the story; the story is quite a bastion of colorful imagery. The development of characters such as Alexandra, Carl, Marie, and Emil is very thorough and intricate. Even more thorough, however, is the development of probably what is the main character in the story - the land. As the reader delves further into the story, it becomes more readily apparent that the land is really what connect the characters together; it is their ultimate relation. When the plot is not revolving around the land, it is focused on the actions of Alexandra. She is the main human character in Cather's story, and she is the moral center of the story; through the land, she is able to bring prosperity to herself and to those around her.

She loves the land and the frontier so very much, and her wealth can be attributed to this. This shows the major theme of O Pioneers!, which is holding a deep respect and care for the land and recognizing the rewards these behaviors will procure.

Through the start of the novel, Alexandra and her family are struggling on the land. Her family has, in effect, raped the very land she loves and respects. She rectifies these practices with advice given to her by the local nut job, Ivar; essentially, he tells her to treat the land and the livestock her family owns with respect and acknowledging the land and the livestock as more than just future revenue. She also takes giants risks...