A Lost Lady

Declaration of Dependence: Cather's Critique in A Lost Lady College

In the words of Arthur Erickson, a Canadian author in the early 20th century, "Illusion is needed to disguise the emptiness within". This quote is referring to the figurative mask that people will put on to conceal their weaknesses, insecurities, and lack of fulfillment that they have. In A Lost Lady, Marian Forrester is a prime character that obscures her weaknesses. Continually in the novel, Mrs. Forrester's disguise of being emotionally, physically, psychologically, and financially strong is stripped on the account of the absence of the man in her life to keep her stable; without this constant to depend on, she habitually and instinctively becomes helpless until she finds a way to regain a man to take care of her.

To begin, Ms. Ormsby, before she was introduced to Sweet Water's slow, undeveloped environment, was dependent on her fiancé, Ned Montgomery, "a gaudy young millionaire of the Gold Coast" (Cather 93). In this relationship, Marian was undoubtedly spoiled to death by her future husband while at the same time, depending on him for everything financially, outside of her wants for materials. Soon to be Mrs. Montgomery had, from the start, attempted to attain someone to hold her by the hand to walk her through life....

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