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The Professor's House

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Research papers on Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House synthesize a clear, strong thesis and to include direct evidence from the text The Professor’s House. How does Cather employ the numerous examples of Christian symbols and allusions? In literature term papers, show how do they connect to the themes, issues, and characters of The Professor’s House? Is she making a statement about the Christian religion in America at this time in The Professor’s House? Is there a new religion? What are the significant differences between the religious symbols and figures and their twentieth-century embodiments in The Professor’s House?


The Professor's House

Will Cather’s novel, The Professor’s House, employs numerous devices—symbols and allusions—which are suggestive of Christianity. These devices are used in a subtle manner to integrate thematic content and characterization into one, cohesive work of art. The Christian overtones of the book also serve a topical purpose; they are used to high-light the difference between two realms of human experience, the spiritual and the worldly, and between two types of people, the small and the great, and they are so used on a specific stage, the stage of America in the early twentieth century. It is Cather’s thesis that a “new religion” has emerged in America and that that religion, while it has a Christian face, is essentially a religion of Mammon, a religion that is based on acquisitiveness and little more. The old, true, religion survives in the novel, but it lies in the shadow of the religion of Mammon. It is the thesis of this paper that Cather uses Christian allusions as a means to present a message that extols the religious view of life and denigrates the life that is lived according to the dictates of vulgar materialism.

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