"From an old country to a new " : opposing worlds and narrative traditions in Willa Cather's : My Ántonia
Storey, Amanda Irene
My project is a discussion of the differing styles of narrative found in Willa Cather’s My Ántonia. My paper is founded on the premise that these differing styles of narrative are emblematic of larger, more fundamental cultural differences in the novel. Using George Dekker’s The American Historical Romance as my framework, I identify two prevailing cultures in Cather’s novel—progressive culture and traditional culture—and suggest that the narrative and the narrator wavers between them. As traditional culture is linked by Dekker with both the rural and the oral, and progressive culture is linked with the urban and the literate, I examine how the narrator’s movement between the two locations creates a shift in narrative style. The differing narratives styles and the cultures of which they are representative have an uneasy relationship in My Ántonia, and this paper examines their presence and the possibility of their continued co-existence.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)