Theme Of Childhood In My Antonia

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In Willa Cather’s book, My Antonia, the theme of childhood can be seen throughout the book and affects the meaning taken from the story. A childhood theme can add so much to a story and really drive the points the author wants to make. As the novel follows Jim throughout his childhood the theme of innocence and maturity are displayed throughout the story in multiple circumstances.
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
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“As I looked about me I felt that the grass was the country, as the water is the sea... And there was so much motion in it; the whole country seemed, somehow, to be running.” book one chapter two. Even after Jim grows up, he still retains the childlike wonder of the land around him. The amount of admiration that Jim holds for the land reflects on his innocence as a child. He still sees the beauty in the land, while an adult only sees work that needs to be done. This also shows maturity in that Jim is able to see beyond what society takes from the land and find a different perspective of his surroundings.
The concept of childhood can drastically change the way a story is viewed by the audience. In My Antonia, the theme of childhood is represented through themes of innocence and maturity throughout the book. These topic of adolescence through Jim shapes the meaning behind Cather’s story to be about life and
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