During the middle to late 1800's, thousands upon thousands of Americans, as well as foreigners, flocked to the mid-western part of the United States. They flocked to this area hoping to gain free or cheap land promised to them by the United States Government. Most of the "pioneers left cities and factory jobs to venture out into the American prairies and become farmers. They left their homes, not only because the land was either free or cheap, but also because they wanted to leave the hardships of city life. However, as most would find out, prairie life had its' share of hardships, that far out-reached the hardships of city life. Among these hardships were the death of siblings and friends due to starvation and/or hard work. Pioneers also had to face the stresses and burdens of trying to make a living off of the land. Along with these stress's, they had to worry about how to make money off of the land. All of these hardships, as well as others, were portrayed in Willa Cather's "O' Pioneers . In the beginning of the novel, we meet the Bergson family. As one reads the beginning chapters of the novel, one learns that the Bergson family has dealt with an awful toll on the family.