American Literature Neighbor Rosicky by Willa Cather

He is diagnosed with a heart problem, which puts immediacy in his affairs. He is determined to see his family do well in terms of happiness and health wise, which he considers more vital than material wealth. This illustrates his concern for his family’s well being when he contemplates on whether the crops, on his farm, will survive the coming harsh winter season. The news from his doctor about his weakened heart leads him to reflect upon his life more than he used to before receiving the news. Anton Rosicky finds himself engaging in story telling with members of his family about past events. For example, when he joins his wife in recalling their most memorable times during their long marriage (Werlock 38). The story in the book also tells of how he reflects upon his times in London and New York before he had become a farmer. Common to all immigrants, the city proved to be a useful place to go because work was easier to find there enabling someone to earn a living. Thus according to Anton’s contemplation, his stay in the cities afforded him the opportunity to meet his future wife. He was able to earn enough money to acquire a farm where he would raise his family. His reflections about his past also give the reader an opportunity to learn that, despite the fact that he appreciated what the cities enabled him to achieve, he still had misgivings about cities. The thistles in Anton’s garden can be construed to represent the negative attitude he had about life in a city and the lifestyle it offered. The alfalfa crop represents Rosicky’s notion of an ideal lifestyle, but this lifestyle is threatened by city life, which is represented by thistles. Anton had this negative attitude about city life, which made him believe that it was not a good place for his son. This is because the lifestyle in the city, according to Anton, was not fit for a man to thrive in ways that he appreciated as being worthwhile. Anton was afraid that his son Rudolph would be influenced, by his wife Polly, to move away from the farm and go live in the city. This is because Polly was a city girl and there is a reference in the story where her marriage is termed as an American wedding (Werlock 86). This is Anton’s referral to his son’s marriage to a city girl and possibly because she was not of immigrant parenthood. Anton believed that it was because of Polly’s background that she did not appreciate features and values what he deemed as vital, in his family’s life. Rosicky also reflects on the impact that Polly’s influence would have on the principles about life that he had taught his son. This was because Polly’s perceptions and concepts about the city lifestyle were entirely different from his convictions. In the story, thistles are used to metaphorically to represent Anton’s main problem of the probability of his son Rudy moving to live in the city with Polly his wife. His problem is further agitated by the fact that he has a heart problem an indicator that he does not have long to live. Thistles among his cultivated alfalfa crop represent his fears and limitations that Anton is facing in life. Thistles compete and threaten the welfare of his Alfalfa crop by reducing nutrients available to the crop (Werlock 22). Thistles metaphorically represent his ‘bad heart’, which threatens his life and his continued efforts to provide and care for them. The alfalfa crop