Willa Cather was born in Virginia in 1873, but moved to Nebraska where the population was diverse. She attended school and also was educated at home. She planned on becoming a doctor early in life. She accompanied a local doctor on his house calls and assisted in many of the examinations. By the time she entered college this was her future. The University of Nebraska accepted her but she had to pay her tuition through writing criticism for the Nebraska State Journal. This is when her career took a change.
After college Willa Cather moved to Pennsylvania where she started to write for a magazine. She also taught Latin and English in a high school. She moved again to New York where she wrote for McClure's magazine. While researching an article in Boston, another author, Sarah Orne Jewett, saw the talent that Cather possessed. Cather was advised, "find [her] own centre of life, and write from that to the world" (Jewett). Her childhood is where she found this. She visited her brother in Arizona and on her way home she stayed in her hometown in Nebraska to refresh her memories. Cather then went back to Greenwich Village to live where she wrote almost all of her novels. She died in 1947 after writing ten novels, short stories, and a book of essays.
Willa Cather contributed much to the world of literature. "Willa Cather wrote a graceful, measured prose that gives immense dignity to her fiction" (Ludwig 16). She reached the climax of her writing career with the novel, Death Comes for the Archbishop. The novel was written in 1927. It shows the importance of the Roman Catholic Church in her life.
The characters, Bishop Latour and Father Vaillant, are French clerics. They want to spread the Word of God to the Native Americans living in the Southwest, mainly in the state of New Mexico. They face many difficulties on their missionary journey. The Spanish living in the region are corrupt and unfair. The land is... [continues]
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