Death Comes For The Archbishop
by Willa Cather The book "Death Comes For The Archbishop", by Willa Cather, is a unique and compelling story about the Archbishop Latour and his friend Father Vaillant. The novel has a rich storyline, full of themes to which we can relate, topped off with its excellent character qualities. The plot of the novel revolves around the lives of Father Latour and Father Vaillant. It tells how they went to the Southwestern
to spread their word of Catholicism among settlers and Indian tribes there. They love and serve the people of many villages and towns there for about 40 years. They perform baptizes, marriages, hear confessions, and teach Catholicism. When Father Vaillant and the now Archbishop Latour die because of natural causes, they are were mourned by many because of the great love the two Catholics showed to all. I believe the book "Death Comes For The Archbishop" holds many themes which can be applied to everyday people's lives. One such theme is living life to its fullest, and doing all that you can before you die. Both Father Vaillant and Archbishop Latour showed this within their lifetime. They spent every waking moment of their time preaching and blessing the people of the South- western states, which was the dream of their youth. Father Latour said, "To fulfill the dreams of one's youth; that is the best that can happen to a man." Both men were happy with their accomplishments and felt that when their time would come, they would be ready to depart, having lived life to its fullest extent. I think this is an excellent example to try and model our own lives using our own goals and dreams. Willa Cather is known for helping create the Western hero and their qualities. Cather's heroes have certain qualities that set them apart from other regular Western heroes, but those characters will help the other characters by bringing out qualities in them that the hero may not possess. Father Vaillant and Father Latour bring the best out in each other, both helping to help each other out with support and love. An example of this is how Vaillant is more popular and active than his friend Latour, who feels like he is something less than Vaillant because of this. However, Vaillant depends on Latour because of his certain qualities that Vaillant lacks. This is an example we can try to follow by helping each other in what we do. The qualities of Father Vaillant and Father Latour add a higher level of characterization to the novel, giving us insight to those characters, and also ourselves. The book "Death Comes For The Archbishop' is a masterpiece by Willa Cather. The novel has an excellent storyline with themes that we can relate to our own lives, while portraying character qualities that bring out the best in Father Vaillant and Archbishop Latour.