My Antonia Research Paper

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What Makes American Literature American? What is your definition of being American? Does it involve liberty, justice, freedom, equality, and love? There are many different definitions of what makes something American depending on how one views America. American Literature aims to define the values and morals of American culture. If we judge American literature by freedom, diversity, culture and equality then Willa Cather’s, “My Antonia” is an excellent example. The concept of freedom in America is different based on different people. Freedom is sometimes reliant on liberty, or the ability to act on your own will. Freedom is very prevalent in “My Antonia”. In “My Antonia”, Cather…show more content…
She learns very quickly that she must help the family and start working in the fields. American culture values hard work and perseverance, which is exactly what Antonia obtained from life on the frontier. Antonia is very attentive and willing to learn anything she possibly can. She moves from farming to housework, becoming very good in both environments. Althought there are many cultures found in this book, the culture that makes me think American is the culture of the Burdens. The Burdens are Jim’s grandparents, whom would give the shirt off of their back to help anyone in need. To me this is what being American is about, helping one another. The Shimerda’s had a whole lot of trouble getting used to America and making a living farming. The Burdens went out of their way to make sure that they had a good start in America. Maybe it is because I am from a small town that I feel as if this is apart of American culture, to drop everything and help someone in need. In America, the Shimerda’s were the minority. Being a minority in a small town did not interfere with the way they lived life. In some other countries they would have been treated different. In America we are all equal, yes we have had our times where we haven’t completely been equal, but for the most part we have equality. Cather portrayed this by never putting down any of the characters. She never made Antonia seem

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