My Antonia

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade January 2002

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My Antonia         The title of the book I read is My Antonia by Willa Cather. This book was first published in 1918. The plot of this book is based on Jim's relationship with Antonia. Antonia is an immigrant and Jim structures his view of her from beginning to end. Soon, they begin to play together, and Jim teaches her English. These days of childhood are being remembered through out the novel and serve as a measure of Jim's closeness and distance from Antonia. Unlike, Jim who can spend his time playing, Antonia has to work to help her family's farm succeed. As Antonia moves into the Cutters, she is as distant from Jim as she ever gets.

        The two main characters of this book are: Jim Burden and Antonia Shimerda. Jim is identified as the protagonist of this novel. And, the antagonist of this novel is Antonia. Jim is a romantic guy and wanted to be closer to Antonia that he already was.

Jim realizes that Antonia is "most comfortable only when we were tucked down on the baked earth, in the full blaze of the sun" (27). He is smart and goes to Lincoln, and later at Harvard after graduating from high school. He teaches Antonia English and accompanies her in a new Country. Antonia, however, is one of Jim's closest childhood friends. Talking about their childhood, Antonia Shimerda, "who seemed to mean to us the country, the conditions, the whole adventure of our childhood" (2). She is a hard worker, who began to work when she was a child. Later on, after the death of her father, she assumes a heavier portion of her early farm labor. Later, she takes a job at Black Hawk as a housekeeper.

        The major conflict that Jim Burden faces in this novel...