By applying Freudian psychoanalysis and feminist theory, I will analyze the personality of the independent, strong, risk taker, and smart Alexandra Bergson in Willa Cather's O Pioneer! As Smith points out in Freud's Philosophy of the Unconscious, the psychoanalytic model lends insight into the underlying psychic forces promoting personal and collective change. With regards to a singular female like Alexandra Bergson, psychoanalysis takes into account the protagonist's family background, tracing her ego development across the course of her lifetime starting with childhood. The significance of my research is that it studies the possibility of female's success in life under certain circumstances and refutes the outmoded opinion that suggests the leadership is a male-specific quality. Cather creates an overtly political novel with O Pioneer! As her protagonist single-handedly proves that women can be completely self-determined and self-reliant. This would have been a revolutionary view when Cather first published her novel.
The 1913 novel O Pioneer! By Willa Cather, one of the greatest American women writers, is a good illustration for the frontier literature in general, regardless of its political views on gender. However, Cather differentiates herself from her contemporaries and other writers in the Wild West genre, by stressing the other half of the human race: the half that is typically excluded from histories and literature alike. Cather accomplishes what Robinson comments on in "Treason Our Text," a feminist challenge to the accepted and established literary canon. The established canon of literature propagated by mainstream academia is a decidedly and unapologetically patriarchal one; that is, until the second wave of feminism (Robinson). It is therefore important to appreciate Cather's novel within her own historical context, which makes O Pioneer! truly revolutionary. Cather, although certainly not the first or only female American novelist, expands the canon of American literature by addressing the social, political, and economic worldviews from a more global and inclusive perspective, one that takes into account the lives of half of humanity. Patriarchal literature limits itself to constructing women out of stereotypes and projections of feminine ideals and mystiques; Cather simply tells it like it is (Duby, Perrot and Pantel).
The novels heroine embodies all feminine characters who disregard the complex American West during the time the novel was written. The narratives reveals out the difficulties experienced by women