Willa Cather’s My Ántonia is often regarded as a foundational work of western literature, yet it goes far beyond its reputation as a prototypical prairie novel. When it was originally published in 1918, My Ántonia addressed issues that were often left unattended in literature (but were quite relevant to the time nonetheless) such as immigration, gender roles, and women’s rights. By devoting discourse to such issues, some aspects of Cather’s novel remain relevant to this day both socially and politically. Yet, despite its pioneering attitude towards societal shortcomings in particular equalities, My Ántonia falls short in certain facets of its relevance to present times. Cather’s treatment of the novel’s sole African-American character as a
My Antonia: Jim and Tony’s Unrequited Relationship “I’d like you to have you for a sweetheart, or a wife, or my mother or my sister, anything that a woman can be to a man (206).” Jim Burden, a young man, narrated his memories and friendship with a young immigrant named Antonia Shimerda. My Antonia was a novel that showed incapable relationship between two characters, but displayed the real beauty and love in life. Willa Cather’s book illustrated how the main characters created a strong friendship, but, were separated from a relationship by societal norms and expectations.
Was Willa Cather’s widely recognized novel, My Antonia, titled after the wrong character? Jim concludes his memoir stating that Antonia “still had that something which fires the imagination.... All the strong things of her heart came out in her body.... She was a rich mine of life, like the founders of early races” which seemingly proves that Antonia is Jim’s soul inspiration, the heroine of the novel (Cather 211). However, if this is the case, why would Jim ostensibly forget her for a whole chapter to fixate on a different character?
In the book My Antonia, the characters developed a lot throughout the story, but one character development that stood out to me was Antonia Shimerda. Antonia's character developed so much in this novel, she becomes a more independent character, but that's only because of the challenges she faced when she moved from Bohemia, her dad committed suicide, she had to work as a servant girl and when her fiancé left her.
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
n "My Ántonia", Written by Willa Cather. In the first book at the end of the second section the character Jim Burden the main protagonist as well as the friend and teacher of the character Ántonia Shimerda. Describes happiness as such,"At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." quote from the book "My Ántonia" written by Willa Cather. In this quote, one could feel as if the character is trying to say that in life happiness melds together with all other things in life. Which in turn causes everything in life to be better. I believe that the character Ántonia Shimerda would agree with that quote.
The horror is that he had to die to achieve his. The beauty is that I’m living to achieve mine” page 240. Overall Josie’s interactions with John contributed to mould Josie into the young woman she as seen at the end of the novel. John helps Josie to grow and mature by sharing with her new experiences and expanding her knowledge of the world. Through John she learns to let go of her insecurities and to be proud of her culture and background as it is a part of the identity she is still yet
With that purpose in mind, she revises some aspects of women’s place/absence in history, society, and literature and mixed it with some fiction in order to explain how she came to adopt that thesis. For example, she asks herself what would have happened if Shakespeare had had a sister
Antonia transltes Mr. Shimerdas words to Jim’s grandmother after recieving help from the Burdens, “he wanted us to know they were not beggars in the old country”(50). The Shimerdas were a well respected and self-sustaining family in Bohemia, but America has been tough on them. The Shimerdas are somewhat reliant on the generosity of their neighbours who also build the
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.
Question: How does Cather use Jim's description to reflect the town's racial attitudes towards the new settlers. In the novel “My Antonia”, Cather uses Jim's character descriptions in order to show racial attitudes towards the new settlers. She also compares his description of russians with Antonia’s in order to show the town's racial attitude can be contrasted depending on how well they know each other. First and foremost, the author of “My Antonia” presents positive racial attitudes of Jim through his description of bohemian families.
Anna Goldsworthy writes in the introduction to her Quarterly Essay, that it’s never been a better time to be a woman in this country ‘on the surface’. Despite the hegemony of females to crucial positions within government, large business and greater education, women are still held to incredible standards in what Goldsworthy marks as an ‘image-centric culture’.
An execution is the carrying out of a sentence of death on a condemned person; the killing of someone as a political act. This paper examines three executions: the execution of Mary Queen of Scotts in 1587, the execution of Joan of Arc in 1431, and the execution of John Wayne Gacy in 1994. In history books, all three executions represent the sentence of death on a condemned person. However, one difference is that the methods of execution and requirements to earn a death sentence have changed dramatically from 1431 to 1994. Mary Queen of Scotts was charged with “treason” and beheaded. Joan of Arc was charged with “heresy” and burned at the stake. Finally, John Wayne Gacy was charged with 33 counts of murder and was put to death by lethal injection.
In comparison, females were significantly limited in their ability to access political or patriarchal authority, as embodied by Lady Macbeth. During the Elizabethan era, it was customary for females to hold supportive and domestic roles as wives and hostesses. At first glance Lady Macbeth satisfies this norm. However, upon learning of the witches’ prophecies, Lady Macbeth ambitiously devises a plan in a lead to access the power she is denied her traditional gender role. Lady Macbeth desire is to wield influence as Queen of Scotland. Although to fulfil this position requires regicide. Lady Macbeth is inherently aware her capacity to do as such will be impended by her femineity. From this realisation stems her infamous plea to the forces of nature, as she begs: