O Pioneers! | Critical Essay by Warren Motley

This literature criticism consists of approximately 22 pages of analysis & critique of O Pioneers!.
This section contains 6,538 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Warren Motley

Critical Essay by Warren Motley

SOURCE: Motley, Warren. “The Unfinished Self: Willa Cather's O Pioneers! and the Psychic Cost of a Woman's Success.” Women's Studies 12, no. 2 (1986): 149-65.

In the following essay, Motley provides a psychological study of the female protagonist of O Pioneers!, Alexandra Bergson, contending that the character's success exacts a heavy toll on her emotional life.

Eager to find strong, independent women in American literature, readers have consistently turned to Willa Cather's early heroines. Not only are these women liberated from pasteboard roles; they also participate in the mythic founding of frontier communities—in realms of experience central to America's identity and archetypically viewed as controlled by men. Yet, in their gratitude and relief, readers of O Pioneers! too easily accept Alexandra Bergson's heroic stature as the whole story, overlooking Cather's prolonged, if sometimes veiled, examination of the...

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This section contains 6,538 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Warren Motley
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