Anton Rosicky from the short story, “Neighbor Rosicky” by Willa Cather lived a hard, but good life that built his wonderful personality of being a hard-working, generous, and selfless man. His past, present, and hints towards the future makes this character as real as can be, and all his personality traits are backed up by these things. This easy will lay his character out on the table, and give reasons to why Anton Rosicky is a great and noble man.
If one were to read, “Neighbor Rosicky” the first thing that would be noticed would be the fact that Anton is a hard working man. A result to all of Anton’s hard work, is his bad heart, which the doctor warns him about in the beginning of the story. Another part of the story which reads, “They hadn’t a bit of the painful self-consciousness he himself had to struggle with when he was a lad.” Explains that Anton had a hard life when he was younger. He himself says so when he asks his kids, “You boys like me to tell you about some of dem hard times I been through in London?” Hard times for him, meant he had to work hard. Anton was a immigrant, he had to build himself a place in America once he came. So he worked hard, and build a farm, home, and a family for himself. Willa Cather always makes sure that the reader doesn’t miss the fact that Anton is in deed a hard worker and states clearly in one sentence that, “He was industrious.” Anton tries to pass this trait on to his sons, by making them work on the farm, and his kids are also hard workers. But not having the motivation their father once did when he was young makes their hard work fail in comparison to Anton’s.
Despite being a hard worker, and needing money for America when it was in its depression. Anton was generous. Not so much that he would go around wasting money. But he was not hesitant to place money where it was due. An example of this generosity is shown in the beginning of the story when he visits his doctor, “Rosicky placed the Doctor’s fee delicately behind the desk-telephone looking the other way as if this were an absent-minded gesture.” This is a good example of the type of person Anton is, and it is also a good example of what I mean by generous. He pays the doctor knowing the doctor needs the money, but also knows that if he flat out hands the money, the doctor will politely decline. So he acts as if it is nothing and slips the money where the doctor will eventually find it. But money isn’t the only thing that Anton is generous with; it is with material things like cars, and food that also makes this man openhanded. An example of this would be when Anton says, “No, I want to take de car down to Rudolph’s and let him an’ Polly go in to de show.” Anton realizes that his newly wed son Rudolph is having a hard start, and so is his wife Polly, in an attempt to give them a little stress reliever, Anton offers them the car.
The last trait this easy will cover, if Anton selflessness. The last two paragraphs and there examples hint at this trait, since generosity usually follows suit of selflessness. But this characteristic goes much deeper with Anton then one would think. Anton is quick to jump at the chance to help anyone in need, whether they are close friends, family, or someone who had been wronged. Take his son Rudolph and wife Polly for example, “But he was not so sure about the young ones, and he felt troubled because Rudolph and Polly were having such a hard start.” This shows Anton’s concern for his son, and he ultimately does what is right and gives Rudolph his car. This isn’t the only time Anton helps Rudolph or Polly, he is found helping Polly around the house, even though he has a bad heart. The story also mentions a earlier incident where Anton aids the doctor after a long night, by inviting him into the Rosicky home for breakfast. Anton never seems to expect something in exchange for these good deeds which makes him a selfless saint.
These traits are just the basics and the most noticeable of Anton Rosicky. He has lived such an interesting life of hard ships, and of happiness, which one would think would turn him into the opposite of what he is. Most would assume a man who lived threw the depression would be paranoid about every penny spent, yet Anton is a generous guy. Anton Rosicky is a character that should be looked up to and idolized for his purity, and goodness.