Willa Cather: A True Pioneer of Her Time

Essay by mpaisley88High School, 11th gradeA+, May 2004

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Willa Cather: A True Pioneer of Her Time

Willa Cather was a great American author who helped influence the woman's suffrage movement through many of her writings. Her stories explain what life was like for women of her day and how a persons surroundings affect their entire life. So sit back and enjoy the life of "The True Pioneer" Willa Cather.

On December 7, 1871 Willa Siebert Cather was born in Winchester, VA. When Cather was nine, her family moved to her grandfather's farm in the Nebraska frontier. Cather's mother had very poor health so Willa was left primarily alone. She spent most of her time riding horses and exploring the frontier. Cather did not go to school, but she read the Bible aloud to her grandmother. In 1884, Cather's family moved to Red Cloud Nebraska where she absorbed what was to become much of the material for her later fiction.

Such as "O Pioneers!" and "My Antonia". Also, Red Cloud would become the background for all of her western towns in her novels. (Fogel, World Book)

When Cather was 11 she finally began going to school. One of her older friends, William Ducker, tutored Cather in Latin and Greek when she was in her early teens. Also, Cather took piano from a professor Shindelmeisser who became a character in one of Cather's books. His character was Professor Wunsch in the book "The Song of the Lark." Cather, throughout her teens, became more and more of a tomboy even at one point cutting her hair as short as the boys in her school. But, when Willa was 16, she left Red Cloud for a Latin school in Lincoln Nebraska. One year later Cather entered the University of Nebraska. In 1893 she began a regular Sunday column in the Nebraska State...