Turning once again to one of America’s greatest fiction voices, we present today a story that displays Willa Cather’s keen observation and understanding of men, particularly when they are placed in a locus of trouble or consternation.
“Two Friends” has the structure and tone of a memoir. The story’s narrator is an adult looking back on a three-year period of her youth during the 1890s, when two prosperous men in her small Kansas town—Mr. Dillon, a cattleman from Buffalo, and Mr. Trueman, an Irish banker and owner of the town’s general store—dominated her imagination.
Readers interested in gender issues in Cather’s fiction will notice the adolescent girl’s choice of men instead of women for heroes, behavior reflecting Cather’s own development at a young age.
Incidentally, there is another story here on Just Listen entitled “Two Friends” – by the French short story maestro Guy de Maupassant. What a contrast in characters and situations these two stories present in these tales of human struggle and the quest for human dignity. We hope you enjoy today’s story and will look back on the other and find increased enjoyment in the juxtaposition of these two authors’ works.
And now, “Two Friends” by Willa Cather…we begin…