Comparing My Antonia And A Wagner Matinee

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Literature and Learning (Three things learned from My Antonia and A Wagner Matinee by Willa Cather about the west) The most common use of literature is used for learning. Learning comes from personal experience and research that is then written up for others to enjoy and gain knowledge from. Many people don’t realize just how much they learn from reading books, or poems, or articles found in magazines or newspapers. "Literacy is fundamental. It's the education through which all the rest of your education is made possible,” said Dan Mangan. (Terrell) Recently, I learned several things about the early west, thanks for reading Willa Cather’s My Antonia and A Wagner Matinee. My Antonia, by Willa Cather, is a story of a young boy, who moves to…show more content…
Before major technological advances came about, it was the responsibility of the farmer to plow, seed, weed, water, and harvest his field with just a few work hands, and beasts of burden. It takes a toll of people after a while. “I’ve come to the conclusion that there are a couple of different types of workers in this world: those that work until the job’s done and those that work until they’re tired,” (Flint). Flint goes on to say that farmers are one of the few professions now a day that have a mandatory, get the job done, mentality. It’s absolutely required in order to make a living. Cather hit the same note in her story, A Wagner Matinee, when she stated, “Poor old hands! They were stretched and pulled and twisted into mere tentacles to hold, and lift, and knead with… I remembered, with quivering eyelids, their services for me in other days,” (pg. 659, line 42). During this passage, the narrator is referring to his aunt’s hands, after many years on the prairie as a farmer’s wife. Before, they were used to soothe, and make beautiful music. This lifestyle obviously takes a lot of work, and sacrifices to…show more content…
Her use of realistic settings and stories helps the audience truly understand what the current characters are going through. Although I didn’t live in the west during the early 1900’s, through Willa Cather’s work I was able to gain knowledge about that time period and what a few tribulations those people had to endure. A few examples would be what living with people of different ethnicities was like, how dedicated a person had to be to be successful, and that formal schooling was a privilege not a right. “There are some people who are afraid of adversity and try to avoid it at all costs. They do themselves a disservice. Without adversity there is no learning, no growth, and no discoveries,”

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