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The novels O Pioneers!, Song of the Lark, and My Antonia are often considered together as Willa Cather’s great plains trilogy. Although the three novels are quite different from each other, they do share a fascination with the magnificent, harsh prairie landscape and with the women of that world. This paper examines the three novels to analyze how Cather views the great plains landscape and its formation of the strong women who call it home.

This paper examines specifically the language Cather uses to describe the great plains landscape in connection with the language she uses to describe the women themselves. It also examines Cather’s recently published correspondence (The Selected Letters of Willa Cather, ed. Andrew Jewell and Janis Stout, 2013), seeking to ascertain what she most appreciates in the strong, vigorous women she admires as well as what she most values in the landscape of her own formative years.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.