A Lost Lady: A Narrative of Manifest Destiny and Neocolonialism
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.
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