A wagner matinee by willa cather questions and answers
A Wagner Matinee by Willa CatherThe majority of literary works of American author Willa Cather were linked with the place where she had passed her youth: Nebraska, the USA. A Wagner Matinee is a story about the perception of the classical music by the woman who kept her passion for music through severe life in the prairies.
The narrator, whose name was Clark, studied music in Boston. He had got a letter from his uncle reading that his aunt Georgiana from Nebraska was arriving the next day. He hardly recognized her in the train because her harsh life in Nebraska had changed her appearance dramatically. Before she moved to Nebraska, she was a music teacher at Boston Conservatory. During her vacation in Nebraska, where her ancestors had lived for generations, she met a boy who became her friend. He followed her to Boston and eventually they got married and moved to Nebraska.
They had no money. Their life hardships in the prairies were described in this paragraph:
They built a dugout in the red hillside, one of those cave dwellings whose inmates so often reverted to primitive conditions. Their water they got from the lagoons where the buffalo drank and their slender stock of provisions was always at the mercy of bands of roving Indians. For thirty years my aunt had not been further than fifty miles from the homestead.
The current appearance of Mrs. Georgiana didn’t have much in common with young Mrs. Georgiana who taught little Clark literature and arts. She avoided talking about music. The reason was explained by the narrator in this episode:
I had found among her music books, she came up to me and, putting her hands over my eyes, gently drew my head back upon her shoulder, saying tremulously, “Dont love it so well, Clark, or it may be taken from you. Oh! dear boy, pray that whatever your sacrifice may be, it be not that.”
Now the Aunt Georgiana came to Boston and Clark decided to invite her to a concert of classical music, to Wagner Matinee. It seemed that the thoughts of Mrs. Georgiana were far away from the concert hall, she had forgotten to leave instructions about feeding half-skimmed milk to a certain weakling calf ... She was further troubled because she had neglected to tell her daughter about the freshly-opened kit of mackerel in the cellar, which would spoil if it were not used directly.
Clark thought that the invitation to the concert might have been a mistake, this world of classical music was dead for her forever. After the first music composition passed, her attitude to that event changed dramatically. The first number was the Tannhauser overture. When the horns drew out the first strain of the Pilgrims chorus, my Aunt Georgiana clutched my coat sleeve. Then it was I first realized that for her this broke a silence of thirty years; the inconceivable silence of the plains.
Not everyone is capable of appreciating the beauty of the classical music.
An ear for music is a gift of nature which some people get at birth. The writers, journalists who write about classical music often describe it using images of beautiful nature, recollections of something pleasant. Willa Cather used another method, she described the perception of music by a person who sincerely loves it.
Willa Cather conveyed to readers the awareness of the beauty of music. That is a wonderful feature of reading: people who stand far away from the area which is described in literary works could get immersed in unfamiliar settings and situations. Severe life in prairies, a gentle feeling of music, the perception of beauty are the subjects of the exploration in this story.
Here is the link to the text of the story:
A Wagner Matinée Summary
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First published in Everybody's Magazine in , Willa Cather's "A Wagner Matinee" was written early in the author's career and provides a preview of the tone and style that would later become hallmarks of Cather's fiction. In this short story , Cather explores with stark realism the physically and emotionally damaging effects of pioneer life in rural Nebraska. The story is narrated by Clark, who hosts his Aunt Georgiana when she comes to Boston after leaving her Nebraskan homestead for the first time in many years. Just as "A Wagner Matinee" features a male character's point of view, Cather's later works similarly employ male characters from whose points of view the stories are told. Her first book-length exploration of the frontier setting was the highly acclaimed O Pioneers!
These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. Aunt Georgiana is coming to visit her nephew Clark , a young Bostonian gentleman, from Nebraska, to settle an estate. In her youth, Georgiana was a talented music teacher with a great deal of potential. She taught at the Boston Conservatory, a performing arts conservatory in the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood of Boston. She is dedicated to her craft and her students - that is, until she meets Howard Carpenter during a trip to Vermont's Green Mountains. He is ten years younger than she is, and she is instantly smitten.
A Wagner Matinee
Which words does Willa Cather repeat to effectively describe the Nebraska setting? How did Clark react to the letter from his uncle in A Wagner Matinee? Which of the following passages is an example of characterization? Answers A and B only describe action being done, and answer C refers to a setting. Answer D is the most descriptive in telling what the people were doing, how they were feeling, and the fact that they were interacting with
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This communication, worn and rubbed, looking as though it had been carried for some days in a coat-pocket that was none too clean, was from my Uncle Howard. It informed me that his wife had been left a small legacy by a bachelor relative who had recently died, and that it had become necessary for her to come to Boston to attend to the settling of the estate. He requested me to meet her at the station, and render her whatever services might prove necessary. On examining the date indicated as that of her arrival, I found it no later than to-morrow. He had characteristically delayed writing until, had I been away from home for a day, I must have missed the good woman altogether. The name of my Aunt Georgiana called up not alone her own figure, at once pathetic and grotesque, but opened before my feet a gulf of recollections so wide and deep that, as the letter dropped from my hand, I felt suddenly a stranger to all the present conditions of my existence, wholly ill at ease and out of place amid the surroundings of my study.