How does Rosicky feel about the graveyard in Chapter 2 of Willa Cather's "Neighbor Rosicky"?

Expert Answers
Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

How Rosicky in "Neighbor Rosicky" feels about the graveyard that he passes on his way home from Dr. Burleigh's office is set up in the description Cather writes at the beginning of the passage. The omniscient narrator says:

[It] was beginning to snow ... he stopped his horses and sat still on his wagon seat, looking about at the snowfall. ... [It] seemed to draw things together like. ... On his cap and shoulders, ... light, delicate, mysterious it fell; ... It meant rest ... a season of long nights for sleep, ....

The snow is a double metaphor, first, for the rest spanning to eternity that is associated with a graveyard and, second, for the unity Rosicky perceives between his farm, which symbolizes Rosicky himself, and the graveyard. Rosicky perceives that the graveyard is a pleasant place for a final rest. The narrator expresses Rosicky’s indirect reflections about the graveyard; he thinks it a place with a fine view:

It was a nice graveyard, ... sort of snug and homelike, .... A man could lie down in the long grass and see the complete arch of the sky over him ....

In addition, Rosicky feels very comfortable about the graveyard because it is so near his farm and farmhouse. He recognizes that he could "hear the wagons go by; in summer the mowing-machine rattled right up" to the edge of the graveyard. He muses that "[over] there across the cornstalks [was] his own roof and windmill." All these reflections and musings and perceptions indicate that Rosicky feels very good about the graveyard--but he feels even better about home as he decides to obey Dr. Ed!

Read the study guide:
Neighbor Rosicky

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question