My Ántonia

My Ántonia❥ [KINDLE] ❂ My Ántonia By Willa Cather ➢ – Tbjewellers.co.uk Through Jim Burden s endearing, smitten voice, we revisit the remarkable vicissitudes of immigrant life in the Nebraska heartland, with all its insistent bonds Guiding the way are some of literature s Through Jim Burden s endearing, smitten voice, we revisit the remarkable vicissitudes of immigrant life in the Nebraska heartland, with all its insistent bonds Guiding the way are some of literature s most beguiling characters the Russian brothers plagued by memories of a fateful sleigh ride, Antonia s desperately homesick father and self indulgent mother, and the coy Lena Lingard Holding the pastoral society s heart, of course, is the bewitching, free spirited Antonia.

Wilella Sibert Cather was born in Back Creek Valley Gore , Virginia, in December , She grew up in Virginia and Nebraska She then attended the University of Nebraska, initially planning to become a physician, but after writing an article for the Nebraska State Journal, she became a regular contributor to this journal Because of this, she changed her major and graduated with a bachelor s degree in EnglishAfter graduation in , she worked in Pittsburgh as writer for various publications and as a school teacher for approximately years, thereafter moving to New York City for the remainder of her life Her novels on frontier life brought her to national recognition In she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, One of Ours , set during World War I She travelled widely and often spent summers in New Brunswick, Canada In later life, she experienced much negative criticism for her conservative politics and became reclusive, burning some of her letters and personal papers, including her last manuscript She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in In , Cather received the gold medal for fiction from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, an award given once a decade for an author s total accomplishments She died of a cerebral haemorrhage at the age of in New York City.

My Ántonia PDF ´ Paperback
  • Paperback
  • 232 pages
  • My Ántonia
  • Willa Cather
  • English
  • 07 March 2018
  • 1583485090

10 thoughts on “My Ántonia

  1. says:

    i read this book the same day i found out that sparkling ice had introduced two new flavors, pineapple coconut and lemonade.what does this have to do with anything, you ask well, sparkling ice is sort of a religion with me, and this book was wonderful, so it was kind of a great day, is all i don t have a lot of those.why have i never read willa cather before i m not sure i think i just always associated her with old ladies, and i figured i would read her on my deathbed or something maybe it i read this book the same day i found out that sparkling ice had introduced two new flavors, pineapple coconut and lemonade.what does this have to do with anything, you ask well, sparkling ice is sort of a religion with me, and this book was wonderful, so it was kind of a great day, is all i don t have a lot of those.why have i never read willa cather before i m not sure i think i just always associated her with old ladies, and i figured i would read her on my deathbed or something maybe it was the unavoidable cather catheter association.i don t know all i know is that a certain little bird here on goodreads was always going chirp chirp willa cather chirp cather and when someone dumped a bunch of free books by the curb in front of my house, i decided it was a sign to finally give her a chance i liked it so much, i will pay for my next book of hers you re welcome, cather estate this isn t a novel as much as a loosely gathered collection of stories in which the characters progress through time, grow up, lose their illusions, and make their way in the world finding themselves in and defining themselves against the vast nothingness of the american prairie.jim and antonia are children who arrive in black hawk, nebraska on the same train, and the book is an account of their lives both apart and together,through to their adulthood, framed as a series of recollections by jim, as he remembers antonia to a mutual friend and examines what she symbolized for him.the descriptions of the landscape are phenomenal the way the characters try to coax a living from the land and the harshness of nature is inspiring, antonia s irrepressible spirit is triumphant, even though she does come across as a headstrong pain in the ass at times i just loved it it reminded me, probably unjustly, of both huck finn and this whole series of books that i loved loved loved when i was little i mean it s willa cather everything that needs to be said about her has probably already been said, so all i can contribute is that this book is like the kiwi strawberry sparkling ice it is not quite a black raspberry, but it is damn good.come to my blog

  2. says:

    I would have calledMy ntoniaan immigrant novel But then I realized that dubious distinction is reserved only for the creations of writers of colour Jhumpa Lahiri, Zadie Smith, Xiaolu Guo, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sunjeev Sahota, Yiyun Li, Lee Chang Rae and so on and so forth Especially now when the wordimmigrant , hurled at us ad nauseam from the airwaves and the domains of heated social media discussions, invokes images of gaunt, exhausted but solemnly hopeful faces of Syrians knock I would have calledMy ntoniaan immigrant novel But then I realized that dubious distinction is reserved only for the creations of writers of colour Jhumpa Lahiri, Zadie Smith, Xiaolu Guo, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sunjeev Sahota, Yiyun Li, Lee Chang Rae and so on and so forth Especially now when the wordimmigrant , hurled at us ad nauseam from the airwaves and the domains of heated social media discussions, invokes images of gaunt, exhausted but solemnly hopeful faces of Syrians knocking on the doors of Europe and America, having voyaged across perilous waters that have already claimed many of their loved ones as price of admission Who are immigrants anyway Those who had the foresight and temerity to circumnavigate the globe and assert their self declared God given right to rule over lands inhabited by savages they could easily extirpate subjugate by dint of military might Or those who foolishly came afterwards, much much later, balancing their starry eyed dreams of fulfillment or often mere survival, on the crutch of that primeval instinct that humanity will vanquish the fact of man made demarcations, only to languish in exile for a lifetime pining away for a lost home they could never regain Let s separate the chaff from the grain Immigrants are always sallow skinned, tan complexioned, sun browned, needy Asians, Africans, Arabs, Latinos glibly umbrella termed into convenient one word identities And yet narrator Jim s ntonia epitomizes the immigrant s dream The dream of making a home out of an alien place, of finding comfort, success, a modicum of acceptance among complete strangers and perhaps, coming to own a sweep of land to settle in and spread one s roots Yes I know this is a eulogy offered to the prairies edged in gold in the dying light of dusk, an attempt to memorialize a way of life that the ill informed city dweller cannot begin to imagine, the author s wistful contemplation of a time and place frozen only in the amber of her memories Her earnest effort to capture the nuances of the hardscrabble life with the land, teeming with its secret life in visible and hidden corners, as permanent fixture in the farmer s existence But my reasons for 5 starring this are slightly different In that singular light every little tree and shock of wheat, every sunflower stalk and clump of snow on the mountain, drew itself up high and pointed the very clods and furrows in the fields seemed to stand up sharply I felt the old pull of the earth, the solemn magic that comes of those fields at nightfall. As far as central themes go, the American Dream is a b te noire within the repertoire of notable American fiction An ostensibly noxious concept deserving of indictment by authors who have found it commensurate with an obsession with the unattainable, a doctrine of mindless avarice that leads one down the path of self destruction But ntonia s version of the American Dream envisages a life of simple self sufficiency, despite the hardships it may entail It is worth protecting, worth immortalizing through the written word The sky rocketing desire for riches and social affluence is foreign to her Bohemian Czech sensibilities In a way she is an extension of the Nebraskan wilderness itself raw, rough and tender at the same time, inexplicably beautiful, cheerily resilient against the vicissitudes of fate and time, indomitable advocate of vitality and growth The whole prairie was like the bush that burned with fire and was not consumed That hour always had the exultation of victory, of triumphant ending, like a hero s death heroes who died young and gloriously It was a sudden transfiguration, a lifting up of day. For Jim Burden, ntonia is home, indelibly associated as she is with his boyhood days spent chasing rabbits and prairie dogs She is a personification of those bygone days sucked into the spiral of time that can never be recovered, but the incontrovertible reality of which will remain etched on to the palate of Jim s consciousness in the brightest of letters till his dying day Years afterward, when the open grazing days were over, and the red grass had been ploughed under and under until it had almost disappeared from the prairie when all the fields were under fence, and the roads no longer ran about like wild things, but followed the surveyed section lines, Mr Shimerda s grave was still there, with a sagging wire fence around it, and an unpainted wooden cross. Coming to the negatives, the casually racist comments directed at an African American characterHe was always a negro prodigy who played barbarously and wonderfullyand the exaltation of Antonia s womanhood could have curtailed my enjoyment somewhat but Cather did everything else so splendidly well that I m choosing not to nitpick Besides nowhere else within the wide realm of literature have I encountered such a believable depiction of friendship between a man and woman, each tied to the other through the bonds of shared childhood and a form of affection so wholesome that even a separation of two decades could not mellow it, each reduced to the status of a genderless individual, a blubbering emotional mess in the other s presence If I have, I cannot recall any such name at the moment About us it was growing darker and darker, and I had to look hard to see her face, which I meant always to carry with me the closest, the realest face, under all the shadows of women s faces, at the very bottom of my memory. Brava, Ms Cather

  3. says:

    Maybe what I love about Willa Cather is all the kinds of love and belonging she writes Her unhappy marriages and her comfortable ones her volatile love and her unconsummated longing and her lone, happy people, are all so different, but so how I see the world I think the way she writes them is wise Unreliable narrators are delightful to read because, in the sense that the author has shown me their unreliability, she has also shown me their uniqueness and humanity I think Jim Burden, the nar Maybe what I love about Willa Cather is all the kinds of love and belonging she writes Her unhappy marriages and her comfortable ones her volatile love and her unconsummated longing and her lone, happy people, are all so different, but so how I see the world I think the way she writes them is wise Unreliable narrators are delightful to read because, in the sense that the author has shown me their unreliability, she has also shown me their uniqueness and humanity I think Jim Burden, the narrator of My Antonia is a beautiful example of this and that most of the passion and mystery in this story comes from Jim s failings as a human, within the story, and even as a character, from a critical perspective I will explain.Cather presents the story My Antonia as a story within a story The narrative introducing the book comes from a friend of Jim s, who tells us that Jim has always had a romantic disposition, but that, as of the writing of the book, Jim is in a presumably loveless marriage with an awful woman who is temperamentally incapable of enthusiasm Jim s mind is consumed with memories of a Bohemian girl Jim and the author of the introduction both knew, and she represents to them both the country and the people of their childhoods Throughout the book, Antonia Shimerda and her warmth belong to the land and the people who love her, and when someone calls her my Antonia it means something about that belonging.It is impossible to truly identify with Antonia because Cather writes her in this unreliable way, and so, even though she is a painfully real character, she is told with lovely mistakes the mistakes we make in talking about people we love who we don t understand, who are not like us Anyway, I don t remember making this connection the last time I read this book, but for most of my life, people have referred to me as my Meredith I think maybe it is the alliteration that brings it on, but it has always baffled me For a long time, I found it horrifying The phrase had some kind of unsettling expectation to it Now, though, I feel differently I feel like it is lovely to belong to the people I care about, and the last time someone said it, it was just comfortable and true I m not saying that this makes me similar to Antonia Shimerda, but it made me think about how warm and human it is to belong to people like Antonia did.So, I m telling you about how this book is written by a woman, but from the perspective of a boy and then a man Writing across genders is suspicious to me, and so that unreliability piles on to the already suspect character of Jim And, I don t think Cather tells him fairly or realistically as a male character, or that this story is told as a man would tell it It is told in the way a woman would tell about a man s love, and I like that It has the insight of a woman into the motivations of another woman, but it has the gentleness of how a woman sees the emotions of men Cather always writes domestic stories, but there is also something epic about the tragedies, betrayals, and glory her characters encounter I don t think there is one in O Pioneers, but in most of her books she includes some story within the story in this case also within the larger story of a far off land, and those stories are my favorite part of the adventure of reading Willa Cather The story of the Russian wolves in My Antonia is my favorite.I am a very impressionable young thing, and so when someone explains to me why they love something, it often sticks and colors my interpretation of that thing in the future I am staunchly against the prairies, and the pioneers are usually dullsville In real life, when I am away from mountains for too long I freak out, and I have an aversion to reading about how to live in a dug out But Cather s wonderful descriptions of Nebraska change the whole idea for me I know it s just descriptions, but they are so vivid and beautiful I love the mountains, and I maintain that they arebeautiful than the prairies, but I could never describe the essence of the places I love like Cather does her places And her places are ick, so that makes her evenwonderful as a writer.Anyway, I love this book I listened to it on audio this time, and the audio is really lovely It is difficult to say whether this is my favorite Cather or O Pioneers is or The Professor s House is They are all wonderful This one has a quality I like of being driven by character, not plot, but that is not always a draw The people here are wonderful, timeless, and real The things they say are things people should say, and they belong to each other the way people should It is often brutal, in the way art should be brutal, with real feeling but, it is not cruel It tells how we should see each other and how we should be, but also how we do see each other and how we are It is a sort of magical world that is also real life, but I think that is how we talk about people we love suspiciously comfortable unreliable, but belonging

  4. says:

    James Quayle Burden loses both his parents at the tender age of ten in Virginia near the Blue Ridge Mountains, sent by relatives to his grandparents Josiah and Emmaline Burden by train, in the custody of a trusted employee that worked for his late father teenager Jake Marpole, reaching the farm safely in the still wild prairie state of Nebraska, newly settled by Americans, the Indians have been scattered and are no longer a threat , but the harsh frontier land remains untamed Colorful Otto Fu James Quayle Burden loses both his parents at the tender age of ten in Virginia near the Blue Ridge Mountains, sent by relatives to his grandparents Josiah and Emmaline Burden by train, in the custody of a trusted employee that worked for his late father teenager Jake Marpole, reaching the farm safely in the still wild prairie state of Nebraska, newly settled by Americans, the Indians have been scattered and are no longer a threat , but the harsh frontier land remains untamed Colorful Otto Fuchs an immigrant from Austria, former cowboy Wild West stories he recites, reluctantly , of his experiences there and amiable Jake Marpole, who remains to help Jim s old relatives are very capable farm hands, that keep everything running smoothly quite needed by Jim s grandparents, he becomes their good friend Many of the these new settlers are from Europe, lured by the American government s promise and the law, that anyone who lives a certain amount of years on a property, it becomes theirs But many poor Europeans arriving are from the cities, not knowing how to farm unable to build a log cabin, raise crops take care of animals that are essential to survive the unforgiving climate, hot excruciating summers and cold, snowy, freezing winters The neighbors feels very sorry for these incompetents, get them out of their holes in the ground and make a proper home of wood log cabins , give them animals which are vital to maintain a successful farm, show how to raise a crop, corn, even their old clothes to wear A family from Bohemia Czech Republic are one of these people, not speaking a word of English the Shimerdas, living in a cave starving, no proper clothes dirt poor city folks the closest to Jim s grandparent s home He meets pretty, lively, Antonia Tony Shimerda four years older, teaches her English at the urging of her unhappy father, the mother is always complaining about her lack of things and will never be grateful They become pals, exploring the nearby untouched lands the endless, constantly moving red grass caused by the gentle winds and blue skies, seeing the fascinating sights , swimming in the local river s pristine water, picnics in the wilderness Jim falls in love with Antonia even trying to kiss her on the lips, she laughs at him treating the young boy like a child, puts her arms around his shoulders They grow older, climbing a chicken house once to the roof, seeing an exhilarating electric storm in the night sky, lightning flashing close but not scared they re together, become almost adults and remain friends The aging grandparents move to Black Hawk Red Cloud , a small town which Jim likes a short distance from their farm, it is rented to a widow and her brother Jim can never stop loving My Antonia, her solid character working like a man in the fields to help her large family never quitting, treated badly by her stern brother Ambrosch, but in good humor when she comes home dead tired , soiled ragged clothes, face and body turned brown by the unceasing Sun, an optimist forever as young, clever, Burden leaves for college first in Lincoln the state capital, at the new University of Nebraska and then Harvard , becomes a rich railroad lawyer like Abraham Lincoln He will come back and visit Antonia A novel that tells what it was really like to live and struggle in the lonely prairie, during the nineteenth century in the American Midwest, not romantic but plenty of misery and a little happiness

  5. says:

    What a spell Willa Cather weaves in this, the final book of her Great Plains Trilogy, sometimes known as the Prairie Trilogy This novel,than any of the two previous novels, reminded me absurdly yet so strongly of Kent Haruf s novels Absurdly Yes their time frame is separated by a few generations and their locations separated by a few States in between Yet, it is the atmosphere created, the way the stories are told simply yet clearly and with great feeling these are the qualities th What a spell Willa Cather weaves in this, the final book of her Great Plains Trilogy, sometimes known as the Prairie Trilogy This novel,than any of the two previous novels, reminded me absurdly yet so strongly of Kent Haruf s novels Absurdly Yes their time frame is separated by a few generations and their locations separated by a few States in between Yet, it is the atmosphere created, the way the stories are told simply yet clearly and with great feeling these are the qualities that make me want to hug these books.I had tears running down my cheeks a few times in this book One incident that moved me very strongly was when 20 year old Jim and 24 year old Antonia say goodbye before he heads off East toward his destiny The way the setting was described and how they shared that moment together their last time together until twenty years into the future was so beautifully poignant it just moved my soul.Once again, Willa Cather s skill as a writer, her ability to create brilliantly coloured moving pictures with her words, and her keen insight into the hearts and souls of many diverse characters shines in this novel I cared so much about these people, about the hardships they endured, about the successes they celebrated, and about the losses they mourned.Willa Cather can move a story forwardduring one paragraph than many writers can in a chapter and she does so with in depth character insight as well as vivid descriptions and flowing plots I love this book and recommend it to everyone who enjoys beautiful literature that has no need to draw attention to itself it just is And to experience it is sublime

  6. says:

    This Nebraskan prairie civilization is like the dogtown that lives below it It is a web of families favors And that s the way of life Antonia, the magnetic and emblematic figure in the middle of it all in this narrative of remembrance, of singular impressions is a strong rock, a hardworking beacon of goodness in a world that is simultaneously vast asphyxiating, with its rattlesnakes, sicknesses, suicides and slight silver linings Also a sight to behold the kindness of strangers how This Nebraskan prairie civilization is like the dogtown that lives below it It is a web of families favors And that s the way of life Antonia, the magnetic and emblematic figure in the middle of it all in this narrative of remembrance, of singular impressions is a strong rock, a hardworking beacon of goodness in a world that is simultaneously vast asphyxiating, with its rattlesnakes, sicknesses, suicides and slight silver linings Also a sight to behold the kindness of strangers how falling in love cannot possibly occur in the prairie, that ever desolate place within our very own American continent

  7. says:

    I am absolutely convinced that I have fallen in love with Cather s writing, she abducts you with the detailed descriptions of the landscapes and with the characters of her stories, creating a real addiction to your soulIn this work we find the destiny of Bohemian and Scandinavian families struggling with the hard life and survival in the new world, precisely in Nebraska and Kansas.Cather will make us discover the saga of the Shimeda family, of which Antonia belongs to and the Harling family, I am absolutely convinced that I have fallen in love with Cather s writing, she abducts you with the detailed descriptions of the landscapes and with the characters of her stories, creating a real addiction to your soulIn this work we find the destiny of Bohemian and Scandinavian families struggling with the hard life and survival in the new world, precisely in Nebraska and Kansas.Cather will make us discover the saga of the Shimeda family, of which Antonia belongs to and the Harling family, through the narration reported by Cather s real friend,Jim Burden.Jim will be a living witness to the joys, sorrows and hardships of these people s lives, how they were considered and treated by the inhabitants of Black Hawk, a town close to the farms where these immigrants came to live Everything revolves around the girls of these families, and through Jim s life we will be accompanied to discover their destinies I tell you, Cather writes how very few manage to do, such wealth and ability to get to the exact concept and deep meaning of events as very few authors of her time were able to donate to the readers this work though, I found her a little pedantic and not very exciting compared to Death come for the Archbishop.Instead I was moved to read a whole elegy of full knowledge of classical studies through the university life of Jim, where he will face the study of Homer, Virgil and a thorough of Latin s study Wow, my hat s off to Cather and her deep knowledge of the classics I m so sorry, instead of getting attached to Antonia, my concern wasabout figuring out what happened to the narrator, our friend Jim, the one who should had have a hidden figure in the story Sono assolutamente convinta di essermi innamorata della scrittura della Cather, ti rapisce e le descrizioni minuziose dei paesaggi e dei personaggi delle sue storie mi ti creano una vera dipendenzaIn questa opera troviamo la vita di famiglie boeme e scandinave alle prese con la dura vita e la sopravvivenza nel nuovo mondo, precisamente in Nebraska e nel Kansas..Cather ci far scoprire la saga della famiglia Shimeda, cui Antonia appartiene e della famiglia Harling, attraverso la narrazione riportata da un suo amico Jim Burden.Jim sar quindi testimone vivente delle gioie, dei dolori e difficolt della vita di queste persone di come venivano considerati e trattati dagli abitanti di Black Hawk, cittadina vicina alle fattorie dove arrivarono a vivere questi immigrati Il tutto gira intorno alle ragazze di queste famiglie,e traverso la vita di Jim saremo accompagnati a scoprire i loro destini. Lo dico, la Cather scrive come pochi riescono a fare, una tale ricchezza e capacit di arrivare all esatto concetto e significato profondo degli avvenimenti come ben pochi autori del suo periodo sono riusciti a fare quest opera per , l ho trovata un pochino pedante e ben poco appassionante rispetto a Death come for the Archbishop.Mi sono invece commossa nel leggere tutta l elegia di piena conoscenza degli studi classici attraverso la vita universitaria di Jim, dove affronter lo studio di Omero, Virgilio e un approfondito studio del Latino Caspita, tanto di cappello alla Cather e della sua profonda conoscenza dei classici Mi spiace un sacco,a invece di affezionarmi ad Antonia, la mia preoccupazione era piu sul capire cosa capitasse al narratore, il nostro amico Jim, che altro doveva avere che una figura nascosta della storia

  8. says:

    Here lie glorious character sketches Be sure to pay your respects I dragged my feet I came late to the party I regret it.This is one of those books I ve known about for ages, but was ignorant and flat out mistaken about its subject matter A friend in college wrote a poem based off of it and my impression from that experience was that My Antonia was about a man describing a woman for the length of an entire novel That would be a gross oversimplification of the book It s so muchthan t Here lie glorious character sketches Be sure to pay your respects I dragged my feet I came late to the party I regret it.This is one of those books I ve known about for ages, but was ignorant and flat out mistaken about its subject matter A friend in college wrote a poem based off of it and my impression from that experience was that My Antonia was about a man describing a woman for the length of an entire novel That would be a gross oversimplification of the book It s so muchthan that.It s one of the stories that America is founded upon Immigrants who ve left their homeland on the promise of a better life in the new world The new world America in this case meant the far midwest, those lonely plains at the foot of the Rockies The immigrants this time around are Czechs, referred to as Bohemians in the novel Some of them didn t start out in this country with much and lived a hardscrabble life once they arrived Ah, what people are willing to endure for the hope of something better I cherish books like this and The Jungle or The Grapes of Wrath, where immigrants or earlier Americans gave it their all for the dream and often died trying Whether it s victory or defeat it doesn t matter, it s the struggle that counts Fiction this may be, but the story is a real one My own family came to America from Finland about the same time this book is set They farmed the land and found hard times, but they survived Hearing those stories is a true marvel to behold Willa Cather tells her own, truly marvelous tales in My Antonia Her people are born from precision craftsmanship that refrains from the ponderous grocery list descriptions of physical traits and habits of characters that other writers indulge in Instead Cather cuts to the essence of the person with excellent word choice time and again, planting in the reader s mind fruitful, full color images of exactly who she s talking about As alluded to at the start of this review, this novel is all about the character sketches They move the story, much the same way as Sherwood Anderson s Winesburg, Ohio However, since the characters come alive and are so very lively, the lack of a hard driven, singular plot is no hinderance to one s enjoyment of My Antonia

  9. says:

    A plainspoken account of turn of the century life on the Nebraskan prairie, told from the perspective of an East Coast businessman recounting his childhood in the Midwest The coming of age novel centers on the lifelong friendship between the affluent narrator, Jim Burden, and his former neighbor ntonia Shimerda, a Bohemian immigrant whose family struggled to assimilate into the American mainstream The novel starts off shakily, slow moving and full of stereotypes, but turns into a thoughtful r A plainspoken account of turn of the century life on the Nebraskan prairie, told from the perspective of an East Coast businessman recounting his childhood in the Midwest The coming of age novel centers on the lifelong friendship between the affluent narrator, Jim Burden, and his former neighbor ntonia Shimerda, a Bohemian immigrant whose family struggled to assimilate into the American mainstream The novel starts off shakily, slow moving and full of stereotypes, but turns into a thoughtful reflection on the hardships of immigrant life, rural labor, and womanhood

  10. says:

    I d like to have you for a sweetheart, or a wife, or my mother or my sister anything that a woman can be to a man The idea of you is a part of my mind You influence my likes and dislikes, all my tastes, hundreds of times when I don t realize it You really are a part of me Oh, Jim She really did a number on you I guess it couldn t be helped, because after knowing Antonia Shimerda, I can t help being enad with her myself It is not even easy to say things so illuminating about a human bI d like to have you for a sweetheart, or a wife, or my mother or my sister anything that a woman can be to a man The idea of you is a part of my mind You influence my likes and dislikes, all my tastes, hundreds of times when I don t realize it You really are a part of me Oh, Jim She really did a number on you I guess it couldn t be helped, because after knowing Antonia Shimerda, I can t help being enad with her myself It is not even easy to say things so illuminating about a human being but somehow, seeing Antonia from the eyes of Jim Burden, I totally understand where he s coming from Antonia exudes strength, spirit and determination, and all the while remains gentle, trusting, and kind What Jim feels for her goes beyond romantic love, though She is the embodiment of the things he loves most home, his childhood, and his aspirations The way I see it, she is what makes him a better man Nevertheless, My Antonia is not a love story, it hardly focuses on that aspect at all With Antonia s story, we get a glimpse on the lives and concerns of early settlers, which includes European immigrants, of the American West It shows us what these people have to contend with, and struggle for, that goes to the very heart of their lives.Now most of the pioneer stories I have come across depict rugged and determined male characters out to tame the wilderness with know how and grit, while their female halves are relegated to supporting or I dare say insignificant roles My Antonia breaks from that convention and instead, focusedon the struggles of the women It s an invaluable reminder that life was hard for everyone on the frontier, and that the women who made a go of it were every bit as tough minded and independent as the men were Antonia faces hardships of scratching out a living on the prairie, while having to do so as a woman, and while dealing with the challenges of being an immigrant as well As with the writing, Willa Cather masterfully tells a poignant and beautiful story that is striking in its simplicity She makes you realize anew how much art is suggestion and not transcription, and her brevity is refreshing I know of no novel that makes the remote folk of the Western prairiesreal than My Antonia makes them, and I know of none that makes them seem better worth knowing Beneath the layers of Mid Western culture, she reveals human beings embattled against fate and circumstance and into her picture of their dull struggles, I was able to appreciate their heroism, and find their tribulations genuinely moving

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