wagner matinee dissertation


During the 1800’s there was an increase in immigration towards the Great Flatlands due to an abundance of free terrain offered by the Homestead Action. Many individuals and families gone west to get their lot of money and a home on what was also known as the great American desert. Moving westward was obviously a difficult process, and many were forced to leave their older lives lurking behind completely. In “A Wagner Matinee,  written by Willa Cather, the characterization of Aunt Georgiana, a woman who also leaves Boston to elope with a child going western, is used to illustrate the theme; that sometimes decisions need to be made, and although one may regret it, 1 love has to be sacrificed another.

One way that Cather uses characterization to illustrate this theme can be through direct statements regarding Georgiana and physical explanations. Right away Cather tells us that Georgiana is usually, or was, a pianist of a few accomplishment. Your woman once worked as a trainer at the Boston Conservatory of Music.

For a woman to achieve this position in the time “A Wagner Matinee is set was an extraordinary thing. The music she made a decision to give up was surely something she adored very very much and was very happy with. The physical description of Aunt Georgiana shows the hardships she had to endure because of her sacrifice. The narrator from the story, Georgiana’s nephew Clark, describes her as having yellow and leathery skin, and wearing ill-fitting false teeth.

These physical defects were the result of a pitiless wind flow and the alkaline water, and various other hardships of the Nebraska frontier. The most biting on description of Aunt Georgiana is the repeated image of her hands. She was once a great pianist, nevertheless from focus on the farmville farm in Nebraska, her hands have been lowered to turned knots of flesh, with oddly bent, tentacle-like fingers. This description best demonstrates her sacrifice, as her hands were the most vital thing with her musical fact, and Cather does very well to convey this kind of through the repeated imagery. Georgiana’s statements throughout the novel likewise support the theme of regret and sacrifice. Clark recalls a time the moment Georgiana opens her heart and soul to him, and says “Don’t adore it so well Clark simon, or it can be taken from you. Oh! Dear boy, pray that whateveryour sacrifice whether it be is not that.  By saying this the girl with referring to, naturally music. Her advice to not “love this so well is deeply pessimistic, influenced by the great pain she suffered when ever she gave up her life ambition. Afterwards in the only conversation that Clark and Georgiana reveal at the live concert, she remorsefully makes reference for the music they are really enjoying.

“And you’ve recently been hearing this kind of ever since you left me, Clark?  your woman asks. Clark calls the question “the gentlest and saddest of reproaches. When she says this she’s almost envious of her nephew. Her wistful remembrance and wishing is made clear through her words. Finally, at the end with the concert, the lady bursts in tears and cries away “I don’t want to go Clark, I avoid want to go!  This is a really direct and clear model that her longing for the background music she sacrificed is terrible and enormous. However , Great aunt Georgiana’s actions often speak volumes, and impart a larger insight into the theme than even her words can easily convey. The girl had resided on a farmville farm away from world for 30 years, and so the changeover back into metropolis was not a simple one. She actually is described as being almost in a trance when ever she comes. Her condition of being would not change throughout the story right up until she arrives at the matinee and the lady “awakens. The only thing that connects her back to metropolis she left so long before is the music. When the concert starts, it opens the flood entrances to her memories. The very instant the first note can be played her hand darts out and clutches for Clark’s cover sleeve.

The girl does not release it right up until that song is has come to an end. After that first challenge she is in a position to calm herself somewhat, however the music nonetheless controls her, seeming to sweep her away to a different world. Because the live concert continues, your woman fondly recalls her times at the out house as your woman pantomimes the action of playing a piano on her behalf dress. Through these activities and others the lady demonstrates just how dear to her the music that she left behind is. Hence, Cather uses the portrayal to illustrate the theme of sacrifice. The vivid physical description presented makes the excess weight of Georgiana’s decision very clear. Georgiana’s words and phrases also provide wonderful insight into how she feels. Indirect expressions, which can be interpreted through her mindful and depths of the mind actions, are definitely the most stable representation showing how the theme is demonstrated through characterization. Aunt Georgiana is not really a unique case, and though she is a fictional character, eschew like hers are without doubt made daily. Sometimes there is absolutely no middle floor, and nomatter how great a love can be, it must be abandoned for what is usually believed to be the good. The regret and pain which usually accompany these types of sacrifices has to be dealt with simply by each individual.


  • Category: society
  • Words: 936
  • Pages: 4
  • Project Type: Essay

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