Willa Cather: O Pioneers!

(4377 words)

O Pioneers! is Willa Cather’s successful fusion of two separate stories: “Alexandra” and “The White Mulberry Tree”. “Alexandra”, written in late 1911, began at the same point as O Pioneers! and continued through Part I and the dream that now appears at the end of Part III (Lewis, 1953, 83). After a transformative trip to the Southwest in the spring of 1912, Cather spent a few weeks at her childhood home in Red Cloud, Nebraska where, on the edge of a wheat field, she had the idea for the tragic story of star-crossed lovers that became “The White Mulberry Tree”. An epiphanic creative moment occurred, however, when she put these two stories side by side and realized they belonged together. She told her …

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Moseley, Ann. "O Pioneers!". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 April 2011
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=22354, accessed 30 September 2016.]