Date of Award

Spring 1990

Document Type



Languages & Literature

First Advisor

Thomas Herbeck

Second Advisor

Michael Cronin

Third Advisor

Mary Lou Abbott


Moody and sullen, gray and dreary, blistering, cold, ruthless, dry, wet, life-giving as well as life-threatening: landscape holds as many moods as a lover or a villain. And when an artist can bring these moods, these elements and characteristics of change, to life, on canvas or in words, landscape becomes a vital part of the work. Indeed, landscape becomes a character, an important actor in the novels of the artist and in the lives of their characters. Willa Cather is such an artist. Through the tremendous descriptive use of the language, she brings alive her characters and the character of er landscape. This paper shows the personalities of the land as they relate to the characters in three of her novels: O' Pioneers, My Antonia, and Death Comes for the Archbishop .