Last Updated 28 Jan 2021

O Pioneers!

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O Pioneers! Was written by Willa Cather and was first published in 1913 and it is a literary fiction. This book is about all the hardships of living in the planes or even just the hardships and challenges that people had to endure in the life of a pioneer. O Pioneers! takes place between the late 1800s and the early 1900s in Hanover Nebraska. The main character in the book is Alexandra a strong, young woman who bests the difficult lifestyles of living in the great planes.

Some of the themes shown in O Pioneers! Could be self sacrifice, building a civilization out of nothing, and Imagination of pioneers. An example of self sacrifice is Alexandra, she gives up most of her childhood to making sure her farm flourishes and learning more effective methods of farming. Pioneers must have imagination because they have to be able to look at an empty plot of land and imagine the city that could spring up from the area or what their farm could potentially yield. Also pioneers build their civilization out of nothing on the frontier.

Its originally just a bunch of grass and planes but farmers work the land and produce crops, and eventually it attracts more people. Life in the great planes was extremely difficult for multiple reasons. The great planes didn't have very many trees, and without trees there was no wood to build houses, so most pioneers built their houses out of sod. The winters were long and cold and the summers were hot and dry. Farmers had to plant crops that didn't require much water because they had to carry their water from nearby streams to their crops.

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There were many droughts and grass fires often started because it was so dry. Also there weren't that many people out in the great planes yet so they had to develop new technology making new farm equipment that would help make their farming easier. Women also play different roles in O Pioneers than the usual roles of women. The women work, and cross different gender lines on the frontier and for some women its a refreshing taste of freedom.

In O Pioneers! Alexandra owns land on her own instead of the men in her family. This is an overall interesting book to the general public, it is ostly accurate in the depiction of how life was for pioneers in the late 1800s early 1900s or maybe even for the life of a pioneer in general, except for It shows the successful side of pioneering. Most pioneers ended up in debt by picking the wrong plot of land or just using the wrong farming techniques. But it does show the drought that made the majority of people in Hanover sell their land which Alexandra later invests in. O Pioneers is a useful book for the general audience in depicting some of the hardships of life in the great planes.

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