Life Lessons In My Antonia

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In the formative years of children’s lives, they acquire the knowledge of the most important life lessons. Antonia’s experiences were shaped in her early years of life as a young woman. Willa Cather’s piece, “My Antonia,” depicts an immigrant girl learning what it is to be a pioneer on the central plains. She matures into a strong mother who knows how to sustain her family on the land. Throughout the novel, Antonia learns many valuable life lessons that develop her into a loving mother and wife. One valuable lesson Antonia gained as a young girl was the necessity of labor. After her father shot himself, Ambrosch and Antonia took authority in the fields. Antonia was very young when she started working endlessly outside on the farm. She did not care what other people thought about her strong work ethic. For instance, Cather stated, “She was too proud of her strength.…show more content…
All the time she spent out in the fields working as a child was worth it in the long run when she got the opportunity to work for the Harlings. This job relieved Antonia of husking corn for another year. She appreciated that other families realized her strong work ethic showing not only on the farm land. For exmaple, Cather said. “She’ll be awkward and rough at first, like enough… but unless she’s been spoiled by the hard life she’s led, she has it in her to be a real helpful girl” (2 . 2 . 84). This shows that all the time and effort Antonia put forth on her farm as a young girl helped to change her as a person. Antonia’s determination to become a strong-willed woman was fulfilled when she became a mother. When Jim first visited her, he said, “All the strong things of her heart came out in her body, that had been so tireless in serving generous emotions” (5 . 1 . 194). Even though Jim had not seen her in forever, he still could notice the hard work brought out in her from when they were
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