Less versus Fewer
Use fewer if you’re referring to people or things in the
plural (e.g. houses, newspapers, dogs, students, children).
People these days are buying fewer newspapers.
Fewer students are opting to study science-related
Fewer than thirty children each year develop the
Use less when you’re referring to something that can’t be
counted or doesn’t have a plural (e.g. money, air, time,
music, rain). For example:
It’s a better job but they pay me less money.
People want to spend less time in traffic jams.
When I’m on vacation, I listen to less music
– Historical Context
• Discussion: Theory and Trifles
• Writing about literature
• Author Introduction:
• Willa Cather
• Women’s Issues
– Birth control
– Working conditions and equal pay
– One Act Play
– Local Color (Regionalism)
In Groups: Discuss Theoretical
Applications and Manifesto
Connections to Trifles
What do you think? Criticism
• New Criticism
• Feminist Criticism
• African American
• Lesbian, Gay, Queer
What do you think? Manifestos
• F.T Marinetti: “Manifesto of Futurism”
• Mina Loy: “Feminist Manifesto”
• Ezra Pound: “A Retrospect”
• Willa Cather: The Novel Démeublé
• William Carlos Williams: “Spring and All”
• Langston Hughes: “The Negro Artist and the
• Born in Virginia in 1873. Willa Cather spent the first
decade of her life on her family's farm. In 1884, her
family moved to join her father's relatives among the
ethnically diverse settlers of the Great Plains. This area
would serve as the inspiration for several of her novels,
including My Ántonia
• Her father tried farming but soon settled the family in
Red Cloud, Nebraska. Cather remembered vividly both
the trauma of leaving a hill farm for a flat, empty land
and the subsequent excitement of growing up in the new
country. She took intense pleasure in riding her pony to
neighboring farms and listening to the stories of the
immigrant farm women she met there.
At sixteen, she enrolled at the University of Nebraska
in Lincoln. Her freshman English instructor gave her
essay on Thomas Carlyle to a Lincoln newspaper for
publication, and by her junior year, she was
supporting herself as a journalist.
From Lincoln, she moved to Pittsburgh as a magazine
editor and newspaper writer. She then became a high
school teacher, using summer vacations to
concentrate on fiction. In 1905, she published her first
collection of short stories, The Troll Garden.
In 1906, Cather was hired to edit a leading magazine
and moved to New York City. Her older literary friend
Sarah Orne Jewett advised her to "find your own quiet
centre of life, and write from that to the world."
Yet, she found it difficult to give up a position as a highly successful woman
editor during a time when journalism was almost wholly dominated by men,
and did not quit her position for three years. In 1912, on a visit to her family in
Red Cloud, she stood on the edge of a wheat field and watched her first
harvest in years. By then, she was emotionally ready to use her youthful
memories of Nebraska. From this experience evolved O Pioneers!, the novel
she preferred to think of as her first. It is this long perspective that gives
Cather's work about Nebraska a rich aura of nostalgia, a poignancy also found
in her next Nebraska novel, My Ántonia.
Although Cather's 1922 novel about World War I, One of Ours, was received
with mixed critical reviews, it was a best seller and won Cather the Pulitzer
Prize. She continued to write until physical infirmities prevented her from
doing so. In 1945, she wrote that she had gotten much of what she wanted
from life and had avoided the things she most violently had not wanted—too
much money, noisy publicity, and the bother of meeting too many people.
Willa Cather died from a massive cerebral hemorrhage on April 24, 1947.
• Read My Antonia (1918) Book I
• Post #12: Answer one of the
1. QHQ CHAPTERS 1-19
2. Discuss why Willa Cather chose a male
narrator and why women dominate the novel.
3. Explore the story or relationship of Pavel
4. Compare and contrast the lives of Jim
Burden and Antonia. Explain what drew them
together and enabled them to become
5. Compare and contrast the relationship
between Antonia and Jim in Section 1
(Chapters 1-10) and Section 2 (Chapters 11-
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