O'Pioneers Case

Published: 2021-09-02 22:50:15
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Category: Book Reports

Type of paper: Essay

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The character from O Pioneers that illustrates the principles in Emerson's essay, "Self-reliance," is Ivar. In the book Ivar was portrayed as very self-reliant and had a strong sense of individualism. Some people called him crazy Ivar; he achieved the name from his outlandish lifestyle, different speech, and hazy mind. During my reading of this book I noticed Ivar as being very different and stood out compared to all the other characters.
What seemed to stand out to me the most was how Ivar chose to live. While his neighbors were trying to distort the land to make their presence known with big farmhouses; he preferred non-existence with the land. Cather wrote, "Ivar had lived for three years in the clay bank, without defiling the face of nature any more than the coyote that had lived there before him had done." His choice of living really showed how he did not follow the norms of society and how much of an individualist he was. Unfortunately many people around the divide considered him insane and unsuitable to be living alone. As a result people talked about and threatened Ivar of sending him to the asylum. This proves Emerson's views about how if society encounters something new they label it as wrong and avoid it when all Ivar was doing was being himself.
Ivar disliked the litter of humans, the garbage, the broken plates, and the food. He preferred the cleanness of the earth. In the book he said that the badgers had cleaner houses than human beings. He best expressed his understanding of his world by saying if one stood in the doorway of his cave and looked off at the land and the natural noises one would understand what he meant. Ivar's great appreciation of nature symbolizes transcendentalism because of the significance of nature and god and how everything in the world relates to God, so we should take care of our surroundings.

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