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THE SONG OF THE LARK By Willa Cather Modernism characterized a radical aesthetic shift in art and literature Following the age of Realism Modernist authors began to introduce a variety of literary devices which changed conventional expectations Willa Cathers The Song of the Lark is a perfect example of a modernist piece Cather challenges realist order and attention to detail by utilizing fragmented non-chronological writing epiphany and switching between different voices and perspectives These characteristics are present throughout the novel making The Song of the Lark a great example of modernist work The theme of Cathers story is that the destiny of individuals attracted to the arts and their artistic ambition forces them to make choices which have serious consequences for their lives The plot revolves around Thea Kronborg a struggling opera singer and her climb to celebrity She ventures out of Moonstone a small town in the Colorado desert to gain experience and knowledge of music Through her friends all of which are males Thea finds the support and guidance she needs in order to succeed On her path to fame Thea faces many life-altering events Her move out of Moonstone to the big city Chicago alienates her from her old friends and family She comes back an entirely different person and is able to view everyone in a different perspective This forces her to realize that she can no longer go back to Moonstone When she went away from it for good she would leave something that she could never recover Cather 216 Later on when she finally finds a chance to show her talent Thea struggles with the decision of whether to stay in Germany and perform or to return to Colorado to see her dying mother These are examples of the way Cather reinforces the theme throughout the book over and over Thea goes on a journey of self-discovery finding that her natural enemies were always the same
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