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My Antonia

My Ántonia shows that nature has played a critical part in the lives of America's early prairie settlers. Explain the forms in which nature is the main "character" of the book.
The setting of the novel is based on nature and the prevalent weather conditions that decide the main events in the book. The plot is entangled in the life of an alien who has settled in Nebraska in search of a better life. But circumstance decides the life they lead, and as the plot unfolds, many of the immigrants don't understand their aspirations, so they start trying to survive, which is different from their wishes. Illustratively, the story tells of the winter which is characterized by harsh weather conditions and great suffering from the visitors. During the winter, their is food scarcity among other hardships mentioned. It is sincere to conclude that nature is the cause of death of Mr. Shimerda since it is the hard conditions presented by nature that compelled him to commit suicide. Mr. Shimerda had settled in Nebraska with the hopes of a more fulfilling life, however, nature makes it difficult for him to provide for his family hence compelling him to commit suicide

The land in Nebraska is virgin and fertile with very space population ans hence the settlers are positioned far from each other. The vast lands is responsible for shaping the economic activity of the immigrants whereby most of them venture into farming. However, the farming practiced by the immigrant is not mechanized which makes it hard and tedious with less returns. The population patterns in Nebraska is also a factor of the harsh climate during winter which has resulted in people living in the urban centres while the farmland remains vacated hence the sparse population witnessed. The sparse population play an adverse role in the immigrants lifestyle since it is responsible for the fading off of their culture. Illustratively, when Shimerda dies, the last rights are not conducted because of the population distribution and he ends up being buried without the priest because he cannot be reached.

Jim’s relationship with Ántonia is unusually special. Describe their relationship, including how it changes as Jim and Ántonia mature.

Jim and Antonia have had a relationship from the time they met after arriving in Nebraska throughout their childhood until maturity. They were friends, and they visited each other’s home with Antonia helping Mrs. Burdens with the house chores whenever she visited implying a genuine friendship that went beyond the individuals and involved their families. Additionally, Jim visited Mr. Shimerda’s home, and at some point, Antonia’s parent insisted on Jim teaching Antonia English. This is also an indication of the relationship between the two individuals, which had grown to include family members, and hence it resulted in the two families being friends. Later, the story narrates of the different life turns taken by Jim and Antonia, which caused a separation between them. Notably, despite the departure, their friendship endured the test of time.

Towards the end of the narrative, Jim visits Antonia in her new home where she is married and has children. The visit happens after many years which indicates that Jim values their friendship and is ready to sacrifice his time to visit his long-term friend. On the other hand, Antonia stills remember him, and they share light moments, which is a show of the honest friendship between them. Jim remembers Antonia in by describing the situation as,“all the strong things of her heart came out in her body, that had been so tireless in serving generous emotions. It was no wonder that her sons stood tall and straight. She was a rich mine of life, like the founders of early races.” (Cather 229). It is also worth noting that the two individual have different social status during this period with Jim having climbed the academic ladder to the point of finishing his law degree. Additionally, he has practiced law with one of the prominent law firms but is still keeping in touch with Antonia who does not proceed with her education. It is sincere, therefore, to mention that their relationship has progressed from just childhood friends to a mutual friend whose relationship is based on respect. In his description of Jim “in the full vigor of her personality battered but not diminished” (Cather 216)

4.Prove or disprove the following statement: “Based on her novel My Ántonia, Willa Cather believes that childhood is the best part of life.”

im and Antonia have had a relationship from the time they met after arriving in Nebraska throughout their childhood until maturity. They were friends, and they visited each other’s home with Antonia helping Mrs. Burdens with the house chores whenever she visited implying a genuine friendship that went beyond the individuals and involved their families. Additionally, Jim visited Mr. Shimerda’s home, and at some point, Antonia’s parent insisted on Jim teaching Antonia English. This is also an indication of the relationship between the two individuals, which had grown to include family members, and hence it resulted in the two families being friends. Later, the story narrates of the different life turns taken by Jim and Antonia, which caused a separation between them. Notably, despite the departure, their friendship endured the test of time.

Towards the end of the narrative, Jim visits Antonia in her new home where she is married and has children. The visit happens after many years which indicates that Jim values their friendship and is ready to sacrifice his time to visit his long-term friend. On the other hand, Antonia stills remember him, and they share light moments, which is a show of the honest friendship between them. Jim remembers Antonia in by describing the situation as,“all the strong things of her heart came out in her body, that had been so tireless in serving generous emotions. It was no wonder that her sons stood tall and straight. She was a rich mine of life, like the founders of early races.” (Cather 229). It is also worth noting that the two individual have different social status during this period with Jim having climbed the academic ladder to the point of finishing his law degree. Additionally, he has practiced law with one of the prominent law firms but is still keeping in touch with Antonia who does not proceed with her education. It is sincere, therefore, to mention that their relationship has progressed from just childhood friends to a mutual friend whose relationship is based on respect. In his description of Jim “in the full vigor of her personality battered but not diminished” (Cather 216)

Prove or disprove the following statement: “Based on her novel My Ántonia, Willa Cather believes that childhood is the best part of life.”

Childhood is the best part of life as described by the author “More than any other person we remembered, this girl seemed to mean to us the country, the conditions, the whole adventure of our childhood” (Cather 2). During childhood, Jim used to enjoy the relationship with Antonia as a result of their closeness and the freedom to interact and associate. Further, Jim enjoys helping with the house chores in his grandparents home, unlike in the adulthood where responsibilities have increased. The narration of the childhood is filled with memories which make the period enjoyable compared to adulthood. Illustratively, the story starts with an exploration journey of Jim by train to Nebraska when he was ten years old. It is during this time that he meets Antonia and her family. Notably, at childhood, there is more friendliness and kindness which makes it possible for strangers to interact and get to know each other. At their homestead, Grandfather read the bible before the would retire to bed a move that depicts the togetherness exhibited during this period. On the other hand, Antonia, whose family lives in a small house that is referred to as dig-out is comfortable with the situation, but it seems to bother her parent to the point where his father decides to commit suicide.

July 24, 2021

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