Despite the title of the book, “My Antonia” is very much centered on Jim Burden. The story begins with an outlook on Jim’s adult life, and we are then catapulted into his Nebraskan childhood. As the book progresses, we witness the mental and emotional development of Jim as he has new experiences and meets numerous people. The book then concludes with Jim again as an adult. As a reader, I have observed him complete a cycle (going from point a, to point b and arriving at point a again). Throughout the course of this cycle Jim relished the best days of his youth and endured the tribulations of life. The Virgil quotation “Optima dies… prima fugit” (the best days are the first to flee) is inserted at two points, prior to the introduction and prior
In My Ántonia, Jim Burden’s misfortune of losing his parents lead him to Nebraska, where he met the people that would change his perspective on life. If that tragedy would never have happened, Jim would not have gained a deeper understanding of everyday people, such as Ántonia and her family.
One lesson she learns is that hard work is needed to achieve goals. Antonia has worked for everything she 's ever had whether it be to put food on the table or to build her life. In the book it mentions that she and her husband, Cuzak, built the house they live in now themselves. Antonia always envied the town girls and wanted a life like theirs. Now, she has an amazing house and land that she is incredibly proud of, all of it she worked for. Antonia says to one of her children, “‘Yes, child but why don’t we take him [Jim] into the parlour, now that we’ve got a
Jim and Antonia’s relationship revolves around their adventures as they explore the prairie and all its wonders. On the prairie Jim and Antonia’s friendship is uncomplicated and filled with innocence. Both don’t realise their contrasting ethnic background and social class, and the worries of gender, social problems, and work does not burden their spirits like it does the adults. This ignorance shows the reader the amount of innocence the characters have during their childhood years. “Yet the summer which was to change everything was coming nearer every day… and they have to grow up, whether they will or
From the time he is introduced, to the moments shortly before his untimely death, Jim Nolan proves himself as the most dynamic character in In Dubious Battle. Troubled by a tragic past and a feeling of worthlessness, Nolan looked to find meaning in his life. The most important step that Nolan took to turn his life around was deciding to join the “Party.” After doing so, his life took a sharp turn in the right direction. By looking at specific moments throughout the novel, we can see how Jim changed from a man whose life was unfulfilling, to a man whose life comprised of leadership and confidence.
Social barriers were one reason why Jim didn’t pursue Antonia romantically. Antonia, also known as Tony, was a poor, uneducated immigrant that moved in America with her family to find a better life. Jim, on the other hand, was an average, educated youth, moved in Nebraska to live with his grandparents. He remembered how Antonia’s father begged to teach Antonia in English (19). Immigrants were poor that they could not even provide proper education to their children like how Mr. Shimerda asked a ten-year-old Jim to educate a fourteen-year-old Antonia. Thus, their friendship started and grew stronger and closer until Mr. Shimerda took away his precious life, affecting Tony’s fate to do a man’s work, farming. Jim even described her as a tall, strong girl when she reached her 15th birthday and how her arms and throat were brown as a sailor’s (79). These social barriers portrayed a big difference in Jim and
Larry Donovan was young train conductor who fancied Antonia. He and Antonia were engaged to be married. He asks her to come to Denver so that they could get married there. However, he deserts her, leaving her unmarried and pregnant. In Antonia time period having a child without a father was a disgrace and humiliating, but Antonia bears the disgrace and humiliation proudly.
Willa Cather’s novel, My Ántonia sheds light on the topic of immigration. Immigrants have many different reasons for why they might migrate to the United States. Some were trying to escape something from their old country such as avoiding a war, trouble with the law, or shame as is the case of the Russians Pavel and Peter. Reasons for immigrating could also relate to chasing the American dream as is the case with the Shimerdas. Challenges and hardships encountered by foreigners immigrating into the United States are demonstrated through Jake’s experiences with the Shimerdas, the Russians, and other foreigners.
5. While My Antonia and A Wagner Matinée (written by Willa Cather) are stories that differ greatly in the aspect of narrators and occurrences, both of these pieces have similar themes. They both show an appreciation towards the prairie and how the prairie affected the lives of the people who lived off of them. Both the main characters of these works first saw desolation in the prairie, then came to see the actual beauty in it. In Book I (The Shimerdas) of My Antonia, Jim Burden described Nebraska on page 11 as “There seemed to be nothing to see; no fences, no creeks or trees, no hills, or fields…There was nothing but land: not a country at all, but the material out of which countries were made”. While Jim describes the plains as nothingness, the narrator of A Wagner Matinée (Clark) compares his own modern town to the “inconceivable silence of the plains” and how the land he knew was “the flat world of the ancients…more merciless than those of war” (paragraph 12).
In the novel, My Antonia, it expresses multiple themes in different sections of the novel. “Book Four, The Pioneers Women’s Story” has the theme ostracization. The book shows ostracization mainly on one specific character, Antonia. Frequently in the book Antonia is seen ostracizing herself from the people around her. Reading through My Antonia, written by Willa Cather, there seems to be a specific theme, ostracization.
When two people from vastly different walks of life cross paths, they are bound to learn a lot from each other. My Ántonia by Willa Cather is set in Nebraska in the late 1800s and tells the story of the relationship between a Bohemian immigrant, Ántonia Shimerda, and an American boy, Jim Burden. In the beginning of their relationship, Jim teaches Ántonia English as requested by Mr. Shimerda. However, Jim learns more through their relationship because Ántonia inadvertently teaches him things he would not have learned otherwise.
- During the relationship of Antonia and Jim, I would have to say that Jim learns more from their relationship. Although Jim does teach Antonia English. Jim learns more than just a language. First of all, Jim learns more about Bohemian people and their culture. Jim finds out that Bohemian people are more trusting than say Americans. This is supported by when Antonia's father offers his gun to Jim as a gift when he's older even when he doesn't know much of Jim at this point. He also learns about himself a little bit. When Jim and Antonia was going to a garden to dig up potatoes, they came across a huge rattlesnake. As the rattlesnake perked up to attack, Jim rushed in and drove his shovel on it's head. He killed the rattlesnake with multiple
Should someone be let out of jail if they killed their child to stop their suffering? In Daughter by Erskine Caldwell, Jim Killed his daughter because she was starving, he worked hard but his money was taken away and couldn’t afford food. Jim killed her because he could watch her starve anymore, many outsiders supported him. Readers either agree or disagree that he should be let out of jail. I agree he should be let out, he did it out of love.
In My Antonia, Willa Cather pens a nostalgic story focused on a two people with a unique connection. Jim Burden narrates the story of Antonia Shimerda, the girl next door who happens to be a Bohemian emigrant. Jim moves to his grandparents’ house after his parents die; Antonia arrives in the United States with her family and little else. The two are vastly different, but bond quickly on the Nebraska prairie. Most people who study the novel acknowledge the obvious impact that Antonia has on Jim and see Antonia as “in one way or another, the center of the novel” (Lucenti). With this interpretation, the focus is Antonia’s lasting effect on Jim- with not as much thought of how the latter affects his older neighbor. Throughout My Antonia, Antonia’s life is shaped by her relationship with Jim.
Antonia is admirable character that intrigues many readers that come across this novel.Antonia displays different characteristics that catches the admiration of Cather.Overall Antonia is a passionate young Bohemian child.Antonia shows her loving passion throughout the novel multiple times.In the first interaction with Antonia the narrator describes Antonia 's behavior.The narrator says "When we reached the level and could see the gold tree tops,I pointed toward them,and Antonia laughed and squeezed my hand as if to tell me how glad she was I had come.This clearly highlights her passion as a young character.The writer also displays this trait in the story when it says "She looked at me,her eyes fairly blazing with things she could not say".Antonia not being able to speak English at the time could not verbally express her passion.Antonia is also philomatic.She loves learning new things.Antonia loves her lessons to learn and read english.The narrator tells us this when he states that "Almost everyday she