Hardships in O Pioneer

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Hardships in O Pioneer During the middle to late 1800's, thousands upon thousands of Americans, as well as foreigners, flocked to the mid-western part of the United States. They flocked to this area hoping to gain free or cheap land promised to them by the United States Government. Most of the "pioneers" left cities and factory jobs to venture out into the American prairies and become farmers. They left their homes, not only because the land was either free or cheap, but also because they wanted to leave the hardships of city life. However, as most would find out, prairie life had its' share of hardships, that far out-reached the hardships of city life. Among these hardships were the death of siblings and friends due to starvation and/or hard work. Pioneers also had to face the stresses and burdens of trying to make a living off of the land. Along with these stress's, they had to worry about how to make money off of the land. All of these hardships, as well as others, were portrayed in Willa Cather's "O' Pioneers". In the beginning of the novel, we meet the Bergson family. As one reads the beginning chapters of the novel, one learns that the Bergson family has dealt with an awful toll on the family. They lost two children in between the births of Lou and Oscar. Not only did they lose two children, who they surely loved dearly, they lost a herd of cattle to a blizzard. They lost a very important plowing horse to a broken leg. They lost their hogs due to cholera. They also lost an important breeding stallion. All of these hardships occurred within a relatively short time of eleven years. Then at the end of chapter two, the Bergson's lost the head of their family in John. With the loss of the father, the famil... ... middle of paper ... ...on is a prime example of this problem (even though her flirtasous spirit was not much help). Willa Cather did a very good job by portraying the real life situations that American pioneers had to face. This novel opened the eyes of the American public to the courage these pioneers must have had to venture out on to wild and un-charted land. It also opened the heart, of the American public, to these pioneers because of the hardships and burdens these pioneers had to face. As one reads this novel, it is very easy to feel nothing but the utmost respect for these pioneers because they underwent so much turmoil, that very few others during this time, went through. These pioneers were family oriented and wanted nothing but the best possible for their families. The pioneer men back during this time were real men and the pioneer women during this time were real women.
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