One of Ours Additional Summary

Willa Cather

Extended Summary

One of Ours is made up of five books. Book I, “On Lovely Creek,” introduces the young Claude Wheeler in small-town Nebraska. Claude visits a traveling circus with friends and then goes back to school at Temple, the religious college he is attending in Lincoln. While there, he adds special classes in European history at the nearby state college and plays football for Temple. This allows him to make friends with new boys, and he begins to explore new intellectual worlds. Two girls show interest in Claude while he is at school, but he does not get involved with either of them. College is going well, but then his father buys a new ranch in Colorado. While Mr. Wheeler runs the ranch, Claude is left in charge of the family’s Nebraska farm. Even though it means giving up his studies, Claude pours his energy into his new position.

Book II, “Enid,” follows the next change in Claude’s life, which culminates in his marriage to Enid Royce. It begins when his father sends him to Colorado to see the new ranch. The distance makes Claude feel exceptionally lonely, and once he is back in Nebraska, he begins to visit the mill to see Enid. Their courtship is fairly slow until they get caught in the rain while driving and Enid drives them closer to home. Soon after that, Claude gets stuck by a barbwire fence and falls ill. Enid tends to him, and Claude falls in love with her. When he proposes, Enid says she does not think it is for the best, but they plan to marry anyway. Claude builds a new house for them to live in, but as it is built, World War I begins. They marry, but the nature of their marriage is signaled on their honeymoon night on the train. Feeling sick, Enid asks Claude to sleep elsewhere, and he agrees.

In Book III, “Sunrise on the Prairie,” the couple begin their life together. Enid keeps a fine house, but their marriage is hollow. When they have been married a year and a half, Enid’s sister falls ill and Enid goes...

(The entire section is 770 words.)