Study Help Essay Questions


1. Do you think Cather was more sympathetic to the Indians' way of blending with the natural landscape of the Southwest or Latour's accomplishments to build the diocese?

2. Compare Father Latour and Father Vaillant. Whom do you believe is the better man? Who is the better priest? Is there a difference?

3. What problems confronted the priests when they came to New Mexico? Be sure to use specific examples from the book to support your response.

4. Cather said that she did not want to play up incidents for all there was in them. Name at least two situations in the novel that Cather understated.

5. Cather was not a Catholic. Why do you think she wanted to write a book about two Catholic priests?

6. Why did Cather include the story of Friar Baltazar? What symbolism, if any, does his story possess? Exactly what was his great failure?