The opening conversation between Rosicky and Dr. Burleigh in Part I. The scene between Polly, Rudolph, and Rosicky in Part IV.
“What if…?” What if the time period of “Neighbour Rosicky” were changed to contemporary society? Write a 400-word creative response in which you rewrite one of the following scenes. Assume the setting is contemporary.
The Scene from Neighbours Rosicky Part IV in Contemporary Life
Rosicky is worried about Rudolph, his son, who rents a farm not too far from Rosicky. Rudolph recently married Polly, a city woman from Los Angeles, identified by the Rosickys as “American,” implying that her parents are not recent immigrants. Polly was five years old when her parents moved to Los Angeles, California, after her father got a well-paying job in Silicon Valley. Being a tech person, her father would occasionally take her to his workplace to spend time together. On the weekends, Polly’s father would take her to watch the Dodgers game and later on pick ice cream before heading home (Wheeler, 2011). The only life she knows is LA. She comes from the suburbs of Beverly Hills – Los Angeles, California. The transition from being a single woman living in the city to married life on a farm in Nebraska was difficult for Polly. Rosicky agrees to loan his son the family car because Rosicky is afraid that Polly’s unhappiness would force Rudy to leave the farm for a job in LA, proposing that he and Polly go to the city evening.
Rosicky has a particular urge to connect with Polly to show her that she is most welcome and should feel comfortable. In the Rosicky family, Polly feels very out of place. Instead of being a Bohemian, she is an “American,” which means she is a part of the dominant white race community in the U.S., not a Mexican immigrant like the Rosickys. Besides, she comes from the city of Los Angeles, not the world. Polly is used to the Hollywood life (Wheeler, 2011). Not a single day can pass without spotting or taking a picture with a Hollywood pop star. Her dreams and ambitions were to be a pop star or have a talk show right in the middle of LA. In the hope that she and Rudolph will not leave the town’s prairie, Rosicky tries to communicate his feelings for the land to Polly. Polly’s profit tells the story of his miserable years in London and the beginning of his American life in Los Angeles.
Rosicky, the refugee, tells the “American” Polly the story of his American success. From the streets of Mexico to own vast chunks of land in the plain lands of Nebraska. Coming in from the south, Rosicky had to begin with tailoring jobs to earn a living. Rosicky saved up a little money to buy land and started to feel the “American Dream.” Polly would continuously acclimatize to the environments of Nebraska (Wheeler, 2011). Progress she learns until she rescues him and nurses him after Rosicky has suffered a heart attack, calling him “Father” for the first time. She unexpectedly thinks, holding her hand, “that Rosicky loved her more than Rudolph, her mother or father” The feeling is an “awakening” for her. “It seemed to her that she had never learned as much about life as from the hand of old Rosicky.” This moment took her to herself; it sent a clear and untranslatable message. This communication between Rosicky and Polly is physical and immediate, indicating another level at which meaning can flow between individuals.
Wheeler, D. (2011). “Neighbour Rosicky” Willa Cather. Dog’s Tail Books.