A Lost Lady: A Narrative of Manifest Destiny and Neocolonialism

Keywords: Colonialism, Imperialism, Manifest Destiny, Neocolonialism, Postcolonialism

Abstract

The greatly examined story of A Lost Lady usually depicts Mrs. Forrester’s success in meeting and adapting to the challenges of a changing world, a world characterized by materialism and self-fulfilment. However, the overlooked story, one far more disturbing than the privileged story in the text, is the narrative of oppressed groups of people of other races and the lower class. Drawing on some aspects of postcolonial theory, this paper explores Willa Cather’s own reactions to real changes in her society, to the waning power of imperialism, and of her nostalgic longing for the western prairies of her youth, without showing any sympathy for the dispossessed Native Americans and other oppressed races. It will also disclose the unmistakable colonial overtones, which remarkably resonate with the common discourse of “Manifest Destiny” during the time period of American expansion to the Wild West.

Author Biography

Ammar Aqeeli, Jazan University, Gizan, Saudi Arabia

The greatly examined story of A Lost Lady usually depicts Mrs. Forrester’s success in meeting and adapting to the challenges of a changing world, a world characterized by materialism and self-fulfilment. However, the overlooked story, one far more disturbing than the privileged story in the text, is the narrative of oppressed groups of people of other races and the lower class. Drawing on some aspects of postcolonial theory, this paper explores Willa Cather’s own reactions to real changes in her society, to the waning power of imperialism, and of her nostalgic longing for the western prairies of her youth, without showing any sympathy for the dispossessed Native Americans and other oppressed races. It will also disclose the unmistakable colonial overtones, which remarkably resonate with the common discourse of “Manifest Destiny” during the time period of American expansion to the Wild West.

References

Cather, W. (2003). A Lost Lady. University of Nebraska Press.

Fischer, M. (1990). Pastoralism and Its Discontents: Willa Cather and the Burden of Imperialism. Mosaic: An Interdisciplinary Critical Journal, 23(1), 31-45. https://www.jstor.org/stable/24780573

Foucault, M. (1980). History of Systems of Thought. In D. F. Bouchard (Ed.), Language, Counter-memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews (pp. 199-205). Cornell University Press.

Gustake, C. (2008). Recognition, resistance and empire in the frontier fiction of Jewett, Cather and Ferber (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database.

Haas, A. (2012). Borderlands Identities and Borderlands Ideologies in Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop. American Studies Journal, 57, https://doi.org/10.18422/57-02

Handley, W. R. (2002). Marriage, Violence and the Nation in the American Literary West. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511485527

Harvey, S. P. (1995). Redefining the American dream: the novels of Willa Cather. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

Karush, D. (1996). Innocent Voyages: Fictions of U.S. Expansion in Cather, Stevens, and Hurston (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database.

Loomba, A. (1998). Colonialism/Postcolonialism. Routledge.

Meisel, P. (2007). The Literary Freud. Routledge.

O'Brien, S. (1987). Willa Cather: The Emerging Voice. Oxford University Press.

Ostler, J. (2004). The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee. Cambridge University Press.

Patton, T. O., & Schedlock, S. M. (2012). Gender, Whiteness, and Power in Rodeo: Breaking Away from the Ties of Sexism and Racism. Lexington Books.

Ryser, R. C. (2012). Indigenous Nations and Modern States: The Political Emergence of Nations Challenging State Power. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203139882

Said, E. W. (1979). Orientalism. Vintage.

Stout, J. P. (2000). Willa Cather: The Writer and Her World. Charlottesville, University of Virginia Press.

Urgo, J. (1995). Willa Cather and the Myth of American Migration. University of Illinois Press.

Perriman, W. K. (2009). Willa Cather and the Dance: A Most Satisfying Elegance. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

Thomas, S. (1990). Willa Cather. Macmillan Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-20407-6

Williams, R. (2005). Culture and Materialism: Selected Essays. Verso.

Woodress, J. (1987). Willa Cather: A Literary Life. University of Nebraska Press.

Zinn, H. (2005). The Twentieth Century: A People's History. HarperCollins.

Published
2020-06-30
How to Cite
Aqeeli, A. (2020). A Lost Lady: A Narrative of Manifest Destiny and Neocolonialism. English Studies at NBU, 6(1), 111-126. https://doi.org/10.33919/esnbu.20.1.5
Section
Articles