Theme Of O Pioneers By Willa Cather

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In the book O pioneers! By Willa Cather, there are many themes, from self-sacrifice to how horribly terrible relationships can go. However one of the themes relates most to U.S. history and that is how the book compares how the foreign characters were treated compared to that of real-life immigrants from the late 19th century to the early 20th. During the 19th century and the early 20th, there was a spike in the number of immigrants to America from all over the world. During this time, however, there was a large amount of “Native” Americans (Colonial) who greatly opposed the new immigrants (southern and eastern Europe). In the book, we can see similarities to that of real life, that of the character Crazy Ivar, how social pressure can affect …show more content…
treated new immigrants compared to the old immigrants. During the book Frank was the husband of Marie Shabata, she later regretted it and felt as if Frank wasn’t right for her. Later in the book Marie fell for Emil, despite trying to resist her feelings she failed. One day Frank saw Emil and Marie together in the orchard and in an emotion-fueled rage he killed them both and ran away. At the end of the book, Alexandra visits him in the prison. The German prison warden representing how the old immigrants held more power over that of the new. She talked to him and saw how different he was, “There was scarcely anything by which she could recognize her handsome Bohemian neighbor. He seemed, somehow, not altogether human. She did not know what to say to him.” (Willa Cather, O Pioneers! Part 5 Chapter 2, page 117) This quote represents how some people of the U.S. saw immigrants, as not all that human, so in this quote, Frank becomes how the Americans saw him and other immigrants. A quote that supports this is from Madison Grant, “Human society is like a serpent dragging its long body on the ground, but the head always thrust a little inability to make progress.” (Madison Grant, The Passing of the Great Race) While not all Americans of the time supported this exact ideal, it wasn’t uncommon. now after going to “‘We are all alike; we have no ties, we know nobody, we own nothing. When one of us dies, they scarcely know where to bury him… We sit in restaurants and concert halls and look about at the hundreds of that was behind the eugenics of the time, making a few men seem perfect and “pure” to give them the authority to rule over the so-called “lesser races,” because they thought they were the ones who were born to. The best example of this was a picture we saw in class, of a man proposing to a woman, but she turns him down because he didn’t show her a certificate saying that he was pure by

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