Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Hanover is a frontier town huddled on the windblown Nebraska prairie. One winter day, young Alexandra Bergson and her small brother Emil go into town from their new homestead. The Bergsons are Swedes. Their life in the new country is one of hardship because their father is sick and the children are too young to do all the work on their prairie acres. Alexandra goes to the village doctor’s office to get some medicine for her father. The doctor tells her there is no hope for their father’s recovery.
Emil, who had brought his kitten to town with him, is crying on the street because the cat had climbed to the top of the telegraph pole and would not come down. When Alexandra returns, she meets their neighbor, Carl Lindstrum, who rescues the cat. The three ride toward home together, and Carl talks of his drawing. When Alexandra and Emil arrive home, their supper is waiting, and their mother and father are anxious for their return. Shortly afterward, Bergson calls his family about him and tells them to listen to Alexandra, even though she is a girl, for she has proved her abilities to run the farm capably. Above all, they are to keep the land.
Alexandra is still a young girl when her father dies, but she immediately assumes the family’s domestic and financial troubles; she guides everything the family does, and through her resourcefulness, she gains security and even a measure of wealth for her brothers and herself. Emil, the youngest brother,...
(The entire section is 961 words.)
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