Willa Cather depicts in O Pioneers the life of a family who starts off poor, living on a farm. The daughter, Alexandra took over the farm when her father died and they told her that she should not, and just to let it go. But she wanted them to trust her, and they ended up having a huge farm with a big house. Although Cather does a great job making all the characters fit, Marie draws my attention because she is passionate, friendly, and vivacious.
Marie is characterized to be a passionate young girl. She was forced into marriage with Frank Shabata, and an unhappy marriage is all she has to show for it. She is constantly craving a passionate, physical love that she knows is unattainable in her current situation. This want, ...view middle of the document...
Not only is Marie a passion seeking individual, she is also depicted in the film as being a friendly human-being. An example of her friendly effervescence is the insistent cheer that made her an easy friend for her neighbor, Alexandra. Marie was constantly there to help Alexandra with the many troubles she had to undergo after inheriting John Bergson’s farm. It was also this cheerfulness that provoked the resentment of her husband, Frank, who seemed to have an agenda to make himself and Marie unhappy.
Along with being friendly, a trait that comes hand and hand is vivaciousness. By being vivacious, Marie embodied all the qualities of a bubbly, peppy, light-hearted individual. These examples can be seen throughout the film. No matter what situation she or her peers went through, she always kept an optimistic attitude. She is completely warm and open to everyone without favor, which continues to enrage her husband, as well as Emil, who has deep romantic feelings toward Marie despite her unavailability. This vivaciousness can be seen as a blessing and as a curse for Marie.
Although Marie has many admirable qualities such as passion, friendliness, and vivaciousness, she lived a life that was not pleasing to herself. These qualities helped her to gain friendships, but they also lead to the tragic death of Emil and herself. She was in a predicament in which she could not find a way out, and as soon as she began to embrace the idea of true, effortless happiness, her jealous husband reached his peak and took her life. Marie has been an example that in even the worst situations, an optimistic attitude can make life so much simpler and sometimes in life you have to choose your own happiness over the happiness of everyone else.