The subject of money is important in the fiction of Willa Cather. She discusses it frequently and often at great length. In some works it is a major theme.

Despite its importance, a number of Willa Cather's critics have ignored the subject or have given it only cursory mention. Several ·writers, however, have discussed the subject at length. John H. Randall, III, in particular, analyzes it in great detail.· His analysis, however, goes astray at several key points.

This thesis shows that Willa Cather's attitudes toward money were balanced, humane, and consistent. These attitudes can be summarized as follows: (a) Money is important. It can buy comfort and pleasure, which are necessary for a satisfying life. (b) Large quantities of money are not, however, essential for happiness. (c) As a matter of fact, wrong attitudes toward money--miserliness, greed, covetousness-- can warp character and destroy happiness. (d) Honest business is honorable and praiseworthy. Consequently, honest, intelligent, sensitive business people are admirable, especially if they are successful. These ideas are developed in a series of phases, in each of which the works deal with similar problems and have similar emphases. Between the phases there are abrupt changes in tone. Two of these changes result largely from Willa Cather's perception of the dominant attitudes toward money in America and her reaction to them.

This thesis examines the subject of money in the fiction of Willa Cather by studying these phases, with primary emphasis upon the fiction itself, but also with consideration of pertinent biographical and historical material to understand the -social and intellectual environment in which she lived.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Delmar I. Davis

Second Advisor

Richard B. Lewis

Third Advisor

Robert P. Dunn

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Cather; Willa Sibert; 1875-1947--Criticism and interpretation; Money in literature

Subject - Local

Loma Linda University. English program -- Dissertations



Page Count

iii, 91

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives