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  • Symbolism In Willa Cather's O Pioneers !

    Willa Cather’s O Pioneers! tells the gripping tale of Alexandra, a farmer on the Nebraska plains and her ordeals as she faces obstacles with her farm life and personal life. The novel expands into further character plots, however, specifically that of Emil and Marie, Alexandra’s brother and his married love interest, respectively. Ending in tragedy, Cather memorializes them with this passage: “But the stained, slippery grass, the darkened mulberries, told only half the story. Above Marie and Emil, two white butterflies from Frank’s alfalfa-field were fluttering in and out among the interlacing shadows; diving and soaring, now close together, now far apart; and in the long grass by the fence the last wild roses of the year opened their pink hearts to die (139-140).” Cather, however, chooses to remove the passage in a later edition of the novel. The passage itself is one that has incredible literary power, holds complex symbolism, consummates the subplot of Emil and Marie, and drives home Willa Cather’s writing ability. Having read Ovid’s Metamorphoses, I recognize the symbolism behind the mulberry tree as familiar. Ovid tells a tale regarding the color of mulberrys (white when young, red when fully ripe.) Initially always white, two lovers meet an ill fate under a mulberry tree, their blood staining the white mulberries red, thus being Ovid’s explanation for the changing fruit color. Emil and Marie undoubtedly reflect this old tale. The aptly named section, “The White…

    Words: 897 - Pages: 4
  • Charles Darwin Contributions

    geological record as evidence of vast upheavals in the past (Bowler & Morus 144).” However, after reading Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology, and through his own observations he began to think differently. Darwin believed that in order to explain the distribution and adaptions of animals and plants, this had to be done through Lyell’s words, in that “the present situation must be the outcome of slow changes driven by natural causes (Bowler & Morus 144).” This gave Darwin the platform to…

    Words: 2013 - Pages: 9
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