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The Professors House A Loss of Identity In Willa Cathers The Professors House we see a changing persona in Godfrey St Peter Early in the story St Peter is a man continually looking and preparing for his future a man who holds dear to his principles and ideals The story concludes with an almost frail St Peter withdrawn from everything he deems important in his life He abandons everything that has made him who he is and lives in the memory of his lost and primitive Cather 241 youth He longs for his Kansas boyhood when he truly lived as a boy more aware of the important things in life Its an insight with reference to the intense memory of his fallen friend Tom Outland who has become a symbol of St Peters lost youth His growing distaste for society and how his family is caught up in its materialism makes him long for that world he believed to be pure and whole as a young Kansas boy Hilgart 388 These intense emotions bring him to an indifference to life so great he is willing to accept death Throughout the entire story we see St Peter growing more and more detached from his family His manner at family dinner parties is mute and passive Lillian the professors wife has an acute awareness of St Peters changing manner yet cannot place its cause She lectures him and he gives her the excuse he is merely tired for never slight ing anything Cather 143 in his life St Peter at this point knows this is a disguise for what he is truly feeling His problem is the change he sees in his family This change is mainly due to the introduction of his daughters husbands most notably Marsellus Marsellus Rosamonds husband is perhaps the main culprit to this change His money causes vanity in Rosamond which in turn evokes jealousy in Kathleen
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