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The Legacy of Willa Cather Essay

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“There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.” (Ahearn) Willa Cather was a great American novelist born on December seventh 1973 in Back Creek, Virginia to her parents, Charles and Virginia Cather. They lived with their seven children, of whom Willa was the oldest, in Back Creek near Winchester which had been overwhelmed by the happenings of the Civil War. In Willa’s young years the last few strands of the war were being tied up, however the southern culture was still alive and greatly affected Cather’s memories and her future in writing. Cather lived with this until she was nine and her family decided to pack up and head to Webster County, Nebraska where other relatives had been getting along. In fact, Cather lived with her immense family on the prairie for sixteen months. Her first thoughts of the prairie were ones of fear and amazement as she explained to an interviewer in 1913:
I felt a good deal as if we had come to the end of everything-it was a kind of erasure of personality. I would not know how much a child's life is bound up in the woods and hills and meadows around it, if I had not been jerked away from all these and thrown out into a country as bare as a piece of sheet iron.” (Bohkle 9-10)
Although the prairie seemed like a fit place for the family, Charles was not applicable for the life of a farmer and they moved to Red Cloud, Nebraska so their children could acquire a better education. In Red Cloud the Cather’s had Jewish neighbors speaking French and German and other neighbors who were Willa’s closest friends. These two neighbors would eventually make their way into Cather’s short stories “Old Mrs. Harris” and My Antonia. In Red Clo...


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...05. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. .
"Realism (late 1800s-early 1900s)." Scholastic Publishes Literacy Resources and Children's Books for Kids of All Ages. Scholastic, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. .
Watts, Bridget N. "Plot Summary My Antonia by Willa Cather." Humanities 360. N.p., 25 Jan. 2010. Web. 25 Feb. 2014. .
"Willa Cather The Early Years." Willa Cather. The Willa Cather Foundation, n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014. .
"Willa Cather Timeline." The Willa Cather Foundation. The Willa Cather Foundation, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. .



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