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Death Comes to Archbishop

            Death Comes to the Archbishop follows the lives of Father Joseph Vaillant and Father Jean Latour in America as they spread the message of Catholicism to the Indians in America. Willa Cather uses landscape throughout the story to describe how the mood changes in different situations through the journey of Father Vaillant and Father Latour. The landscape is used as the center of this novel because in every different place that Father Vaillant and Father Latour go to, they encounter different people that seem to be related to the land in some way. The "sense of place" for this novel comes from the relationship of the people to the land and how it changes in every part in the novel. .
             This novel is based on the landscape and the spirituality that it relates to. Cather repeatedly uses the landscape to represent her theme of service to God and how humanity is related to the land of New Mexico. It is an important symbol that we can relate to in our lives. They use the mission they have made to send the message of God to the people of New Mexico. .
             In the beginning of the novel, we see how the land is meant for a service to God by Father Latour and Father Vaillant. One of the first quotes that show this is "this settlement was his Bishopric in miniature; hundreds of square miles of thirsty desert, then a spring, a village. The Faith was planted by the Spanish friars and watered with their blood was not dead; it awaited only the toil of the husbandman" (Cather 32). Here Cather uses this quote to describe the missionary labors that will challenge both the Fathers. They are trying to renew the lost faith of the Catholics that are in the New World as they have struggled to keep it with them. Even though the priests do not realize, they will be shaped by the faith of the New World as they shape the faith of the people who are there. The New World is a place where both priests are spreading Catholicism, even though it can change them to.

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