O Pioneers!

O Pioneers! - Willa Cather Alexandra is incredible. She was strong, and suffered at the hands of all of her brothers. The story was beautiful, even in it's sadness. The writing was poetic and kept me reading.

I loved the ending. The scene where Alexandra realizes it was Jesus who she had been dreaming about for much of her life. I loved it. I was still happy when Carl came back and they agreed to get married, but I also liked the idea of Alexandra becoming a nun (it was implied that was what she was considering this.)

The one thing that I didn't like was the victim blaming. Frank Shabata hurt his wife, not physically, but emotionally, for years and years. It was wrong of her and Emil to commit adultry, but two wrongs make more wrong, and I didn't like that first Frank, and then Alexandra essentially blamed Emil and Marie for Frank's murdering them. Besides the fact that this action was a mortal sin for Frank, it also prevented the two of them from repenting their own. Whether he had a temper or not, Frank should not have kept saying that it was her fault for letting him catch them. It was his fault for letting himself become bitter and suspicious. It was his fault for trying to make Marie as bitter as he. It was his fault for taking the gun with him to the orchard when he did not truly think that there were any intruders. And it was his fault for raising the gun to his shoulder and firing. The murder may not have been premeditated, but it was murder none the less. Ivar believes that the Emil and Marie are in Hell for their actions. I don't know whether they are (or whether non-fictional people in their place would be,) but they didn't deserve to die so quickly and without the chance to ask for God's forgiveness.

So, basically I really enjoyed the book, but I didn't like the fact that Marie and Emil were blamed for their own murders. They were to blame for the sins they committed, yes, but not for the sins Frank committed. I do think I will be reading more Willa Cather in the future.