Neighbor Rosicky

by Willa Cather
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How does Willa Cather present kindness and faithfulness in her short story “Neighbor Rosicky”?Discuss with short examples from the story.

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Anton and Mary Rosicky had a long and loving marriage, and the narrator observes the loyalty that kept them together in good times and bad times:

They had been shipmates on a rough voyage and had stood by each other in trying times. Life had gone well with them because...

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Anton and Mary Rosicky had a long and loving marriage, and the narrator observes the loyalty that kept them together in good times and bad times:

They had been shipmates on a rough voyage and had stood by each other in trying times. Life had gone well with them because at the bottom, they had the same ideas about life. They agreed, without discussion, as to what was most important and what was secondary.

The couple always put their family and farm first, not caring about wealth or getting ahead of their neighbors, but rather making sure their children were happy and looked after. In particular, Rosicky wanted to make sure that his oldest son and new wife were happy. As a kindness to Polly, his daughter-in-law, he took the family car over to their farm and insisted that Rudolph, his son, take her to town for a movie and ice cream. And though Rosicky's other children had to sacrifice their own Saturday night in town to make that happen for Rudolph and Polly, they complied without complaint. The family values loyalty and kindness because their parents have raised them that way.

Rosicky always remembered the kindness of others who had helped him along the long road of his immigration from Europe to Nebraska. When he was a destitute lodger in London, his landlady, who was very poor herself, sacrificed her own comfort for him and another young European lodger. He recalls that

she often went empty to give another potato or a spoonful of dripping to the two hungry, sad-eyed boys who lodged with her.

Rosicky is grateful for her kindness, and one of his last acts before he leaves London for New York is to beg for money to buy the makings for Christmas dinner for the household.

A guiding principle of Rosicky's life was loyalty and kindness, and the narrator leaves readers with the impression that these qualities had been deeply rewarding to Rosicky.

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