"My Antonia" by Willa Cather and the American Dream. Assignment was to write an essay about the American Dream that uses "My Antonia" as an example

Essay by lavak3High School, 10th gradeA+, June 2006

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The American society frequents the term "American Dream" in its writings at speeches. Willa Cather based her My Antonia on the American Dream. Many Americans have achieved it - the Chairman of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, being one. There is no denying that the American Dream is achievable, but is it possible for immigrants to achieve it? Analyzing My Antonia and its characters helped to reach a conclusion that the American Dream, also known as success, is indeed achievable by immigrants.

The female protagonist of the book, Antonia, achieves the American Dream. Her family and she arrived at the US after eyeing better opportunities and a greater chance of success. She began as Antonia Shimerda, a young and poor daughter of a depressed farmer who does not speak English. A few years into her stay in America, her father commits suicide. When she is old enough to realize her dire state, she acknowledges, "Things will be easy for you.

But they will be hard for us." A local farmer sold the Shimerdas land for more than it was worth, leaving her family completely impoverished. However, she overcomes her cruel conditions. She learns to speak English through her friend, Jim Burden, and earns money to support her family. At the end of the novel, she is Antonia Cuzak, with eleven bundles of joy and a husband that treats her well. She is no longer the impoverished girl that she was before. She has her own orchard, her own hobbies and a happy life with her kids that she yearned years before. Antonia, an immigrant, achieved the American Dream and its sweet success.

Of course, there are many other characters in the book. Lena Lingard, one of Antonia's friends, was also a poor man's daughter. She earned money for herself and her family...