Jim Cather's My Antonia

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In My Antonia, Willa Cather writes that Mr. Shimerda implores Jim to “Te-e-ach, tee-e-ach my Án-tonia” (book one: chapter three), when in fact it is Jim who learns more through this relationship. In the beginning, Jim is introduced as an orphan having just recently lost his parents, who has not yet discovered who he is yet. Due to this loss, Jim travels to Black Hawk, Nebraska in order to live with his grandparents when he hears news of the Shimerdas, a Bohemian family, arriving. After meeting the new arrivals, Jim begins teaching Ántonia English where the two develop a friendship. Over the course of this friendship, Willa Cather writes about how Jim observes and admires Ántonia, which teaches Jim a new perspective on life and helps him grow into who he truly is: a unique individual with opinions that are often opposing popular views. For instance, when Black Hawk goes through changes in its social hierarchy due to the arrival of immigrant families, Jim explains, “The country girls were considered a menace to the social order.” However, Jim demonstrates how Ántonia has influenced the way he thinks by finishing his statement saying that, “Their beauty shone out too boldly against a conventional background.” Jim also expresses his admiration for…show more content…
One example of this is when Jim observes the similar characteristics between Ántonia and Mrs. Harling noting, “They had strong, independent natures, both of them” and that, “Deep down in each of them there was a kind of hearty joviality, a relish of life, not over-delicate, but very invigorating” (book two: chapter six). Possibly the best example of Ántonia’s independent/free nature is when she goes to work for the Harling family and is given an ultimatum, which states that Ántonia can either stop going to the tent or she will be forced to find employment elsewhere. Ántonia responds to this by
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