My Antonia Analysis Essay

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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…show more content…
Though he is away from Nebraska he does not consider his best days far behind him. Jim repeatedly mentions how the people and the moments of Black hawk have become integrated into his daily thoughts. In regards to these friends and experiences he stated, “whenever my consciousness was quickened, all those early friends were quickened within it, and in some strange way they accompanied me through all my new experiences. They were so much alive in me”. In this third book where Jim is attending college Lena decides to visit him. This visitation had intensified the already vivid memories of his childhood. Lena’s visit had brought along an aura of warm and friendship with her. Lena’s visit had brought along a surge of flashbacks as Jim had stated he could plainly hear the laughs of the Danish and Bohemian girls. However, Lena eventually has to leave and Jim’s best days fled with her. Though everyone goes through a cycle of some sort throughout their life the one I have witnessed while reading My Antonia is to an extent is very different. We begin not with a birth, but with a death and this death resulted not in a termination of breath but a ceasing of an experience. Jim’s best days come back from the dead and manifest in the years of Jim’s youth and they are well spent and never truly forgotten. However, after this resurrection, the second occurrence of Virgil’s words “Optima
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