One of America’s greatest writers, Willa Cather, showed her talent and gained a solid reputation by writing a novel, her first book in a series about the state of Nebraska. The story of the prairies, mastered by Swedish, Czech immigrants, along with the story of how these lands experienced them and how they changed them, and to some extent subjugated them.
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The novel tells the story of the Bergson, a family of Swedish immigrants who settled in the countryside near the fictional city of Hanover in Nebraska, and the action takes place at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries. The main character, Alexandra Bergson, inherits a family farm when her father dies and devotes her life to making a farm a viable enterprise, while many other immigrant families surrender and leave the prairies. The novel also describes a romantic relationship between Alexandra and a family friend, Carl Linstroom, and between Alexandra’s brother, Emil, and married woman Marie Shabata. The main hardship of the story is the chaotic uncertainty of success because the family persisted even though neighbors were abandoning the location. In addition, the farm was undergoing severe problems, such as pigs dying.
Alexandra not only saved the farm, but she also solved the riddle of the prairie. She worked for the success of the farm, sowing not only corn and flax that the first settlers planted, but also wheat, and fashionable alfalfa, and succulent feed. Her affairs went better than others because Alexandra invested such a large share of her personality in her undertakings. Death did not stop the settlers’ lives, and the place of the lost fathers was taken by sons, and sometimes even daughters, as the heroine of the novel, Alexandra Bergson, who remained the head of the family at 16 and promised the dying father to save the farm.