One of Ours

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 1922 - American literature - 391 pages
Claude has an intuitive faith in something splendid and feels at odds with his contemporaries. The war offers him the opportunity to forget his farm and his marriage of compromise; he enlists and discovers that he has lacked. But while war demands altruism, its essence is destructive
 

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User Review  - rainpebble - LibraryThing

One of Ours by Willa Cather; (4 1/2*) This book is a beautifully written study of a sensitive, idealistic young man. But what elevates it to near masterpiece status is its extremely subtle depiction ... Read full review

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User Review  - Donna828 - LibraryThing

Claude Wheeler was ill-suited as a Nebraska farm boy. His longings were realized after he entered a one-sided marriage and became obsessed with the news of WWI. When he decided he must enter the fray ... Read full review

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Page 84 - A dungeon horrible, on all sides round As one great furnace flamed, yet from those flames No light, but rather darkness visible Served only to discover sights of woe...
Page 415 - No battlefield or shattered country he had seen was as ugly as this world would be if men like his brother Bayliss controlled it altogether. Until the war broke out, he had supposed they did control it; his boyhood had been clouded and enervated by that belief. The Prussians had believed it, too, apparently. But the event had shown that there were a great many people left who cared about something else.
Page 415 - The sound of the guns had from the first been pleasant to him, had given him a feeling of confidence and safety; tonight he knew why. What they said was, that men could still die for an idea; and would burn all they had made to keep their dreams.
Page 272 - Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State ! Sail on, O Union, strong and great ! Humanity, with all its fears, With all its hopes of future years, Is hanging breathless on thy fate...
Page 148 - ... shade. His shirt showed big blotches of moisture, and the sweat was rolling in clear drops along the creases in his brown neck. He sat with his hands clasped over his knees, his heels braced in the soft soil, and looked blankly off across the field. He found himself absolutely unable to touch upon the vast body of experience he wished to communicate to Claude. It lay in his chest like a physical misery, and the desire to speak struggled there. But he had no words, no way to make himself understood....
Page 416 - Ideals were not archaic things, beautiful and impotent ; they were the real sources of power among men. As long as that was true, and now he knew it was true — he had come all this way to find out — he had no quarrel with Destiny.
Page 272 - As the troop ship glided down the sea lane, the old man still watched it from the turtle-back. That howling swarm of brown arms and hats and faces looked like nothing but a crowd of American boys going to a football game somewhere.
Page 94 - Ever thicker, thicker, thicker Froze the ice on lake and river, Ever deeper, deeper, deeper Fell the snow o'er all the landscape, Fell the covering snow, and drifted Through the forest, round the village. Hardly from his buried wigwam Could the hunter force a passage ; With his mittens and his snow-shoes Vainly walked he through the forest, Sought for bird or beast and found none, Saw no track of deer or rabbit, In the snow beheld...
Page 100 - Midwest revolte; her authentic heroes were something more than sensitive young men who "could not see the use of working for money when money brought nothing one wanted. Mrs. Ehrlich said it brought security. Sometimes he thought that this security was what was the matter with everybody: that only perfect safety was required to kill all the best qualities in people and develop the mean ones.
Page 382 - Even the old ones do not often complain about their dear things — their linen, and their china, and their beds. If they have the ground, and hope, all that they can make again. This war has taught us all how little the made things matter. Only the feeling matters.

About the author (1922)

Willa Siebert Cather was born in 1873 in the home of her maternal grandmother in western Virginia. Although she had been named Willela, her family always called her "Willa." Upon graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1895, Cather moved to Pittsburgh where she worked as a journalist and teacher while beginning her writing career. In 1906, Cather moved to New York to become a leading magazine editor at McClure's Magazine before turning to writing full-time. She continued her education, receiving her doctorate of letters from the University of Nebraska in 1917, and honorary degrees from the University of Michigan, the University of California, Columbia, Yale, and Princeton. Cather wrote poetry, short stories, essays, and novels, winning awards including the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, One of Ours, about a Nebraska farm boy during World War I. She also wrote The Professor's House, My Antonia, Death Comes for the Archbishop, and Lucy Gayheart. Some of Cather's novels were made into movies, the most well-known being A Lost Lady, starring Barbara Stanwyck. In 1961, Willa Cather was the first woman ever voted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame. She was also inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners in Oklahoma in 1974, and the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca, New York in 1988. Cather died on April 24, 1947, of a cerebral hemorrhage, in her Madison Avenue, New York home, where she had lived for many years.

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