A Wagner Matinée by Willa Cather Flashcard

Flashcard maker : Kelly Fisher
Where was Willa Cather born, and where was she raised?
She was born in rural Virginia and raised in Webster County, Nebraska.
What themes and settings did Willa Cather know best?
The moral values of the hard-working immigrant families on the Midwestern prairie.
What did Will Cather think about immigrant families in Nebraska?
She thought they were heroes, defining the American dream and contributing to a rich culture of love for life.
Other Willa Cather works:
April Twilights, The Troll Garden, O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, One of Ours, etc.
Willa Cather’s opinion on the machine:
-She believed that: “a science that offers us new comfort, new speed, new security, and longer life will almost surely demand something of our spirit in return.” (This is because in her eyes, hard work led to a noble society of people who loved life.)
Why does Clark receive a letter from his uncle?
-His uncle’s wife (Clark’s Aunt Georgiana) had to arrange paperwork in Boston, in order to obtain the lands her relative had left her when he’d passed away.
What did Aunt Georgiana look like?
-Shoulders bent together over sunken chest.
-Ill-fitting false teeth.
-Yellow skin.
Why did Clark have such a strong connection with Aunt Georgiana?
-She taught him to speak Latin.
-She gave him his first Shakespeare play.
-She taught him to play the piano.
-She gave him his first text book on mythology.
-She taught him to sing.
How did Aunt Georgiana know so much about music?
-She went to the Boston conservatory, in which one must play at least 3 instruments to assist classes.
What kind of childhood did Aunt Georgiana have?
Aunt Georgiana came from a wealthy family in Boston, in which she was able to visit Paris, study music, and receive a good education.
How did Aunt Georgiana end up in Nebraska?
At age 30, an age at which most women are pressured into getting married quickly, she met a 20-year-old handsome farm boy while visiting the Green Mountains in NA. She fell in love with him and moved to Nebraska so they could start a family.
Is Aunt Georgiana’s love story Realism, Romanticism, or Naturalism? Why?
Her love story can be considered Realism, because the reality of the circumstances (social pressure) made her want to get married, but did not force her into the marriage; it was her own decision. However, it can be argued that it is Naturalism because factors such as hormones and attraction may have been stronger than her own will, forcing her to marry him.
Why can Clark speak for Aunt Georgiana?
-They lived through the same situations in Nebraska, so Clark understands how she feels.
Why was Aunt Georgiana in such a trance when she got to Boston?
-Physical fatigue.
Why did Aunt Georgiana not want to leave the theatre?
-She knew that she would soon have to go back to living in a cave in Nebraska, farming and working instead of listening to classical music and enjoying life in the city.
Why did Aunt Georgiana help Clark so much when he was a young boy?
She wanted him to get out of Nebraska and be successful in life.
What is the author’s purpose?
-To highlight the consequences of making bad decisions.
-To teach readers about life in Nebraska.
In what century did the story take place?
What can this story be most classified as? (Realism, Naturalism, Romanticism) Why?
This story can be classified as Realism, because it has many specific details about the region, according to the era and society.
What factors about this story are Naturalistic?
-Aunt Georgiana is stuck in Nebraska, taking care of her family and her farm for the rest of her life.
-She was ‘destined’ to meet her husband, who would drag her into a life of unhappiness.
-There is no solution to the problem (that Aunt Georgiana lives a miserable life) in the story.

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