Published in 1913, O Pioneers! is the first novel in Cather’s Great Plains trilogy and follows the life of its young heroine, Alexandra Bergson, as she fulfills her father’s dying wish to take care of his farm, while also ensuring her brothers are well looked after. Entrusted with a great responsibility, Alexandra is determined to fulfill her father’s wish, as she goes on to prove her skills as a thriving farmer even though the task comes with a hefty price on her happiness. In addition, the novel concentrates on the conflict between universal and individual desires, while also exploring themes including thwarted love, passion, responsibility, individuality, life on the prairie, and the struggles faced by pioneers.
Set in the late 19th century in the fictional town of Hanover, Nebraska, the novel dedicates much of its attention to the details surrounding the lives of the Bergson family, as they strive to carve out their own piece of haven in America. Unfortunately, John Bergson’s drea