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My Antonia by Villa Cather Essay

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My Antonia is a classic story originally published in 1918 by Willa Cather. Cather was a famous author in the early-mid 1900s, placing her work in an era of a formal, illustrative, sophisticated writing style. She wrote numerous books about life on the great plains, where she was born and raised. She received many awards for her artistic novels throughout her lifetime. She died in 1947, and the public continues to praise her work almost a century after its publishing date. Her free-spirited writing has been an icon ever since her books started to reach the shelves.
All of the main characters in My Antonia are thoughtful, intelligent people, though not necessarily in terms of school or knowledge. Jim Burden, the story’s narrator, is a heart-felt, wistful personality. In basic terms, he is what you would call a “dreamer”. He lost both of his parents in an epidemic before the storyline begins, giving him an introverted style of interacting with unfamiliar beings. His development throughout the story all comes back to his friendship with the remarkable Antonia. He becomes less shy and more comfortable with other people through knowing her. Antonia is a strong, independent free-spirit, bound to leave an impression on anyone who hears of her or meets her. Although Jim is the narrator of the story, Antonia is a prominent character, possibly even more prominent than he is. She is especially lively, acting with a passion that Jim has never seen before. “I remembered what the conductor had said about her eyes. They were big and warm and full of light, like the sun shining on brown pools in the wood.” pg. 17. This is Jim’s description of Antonia. Her family has encountered many hardships. They immigrated from Bohemia, which uprooted them f...


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...t we follow is a retelling by one of the main characters. This was an interesting way of writing a book; it created a base for the rest of the book that meant that the reader could always be sure about something. It added well to the effect of the story.
My Antonia was a beautiful story to read. The writing style was peaceful and flowing. For me, it conjured up the image of tall green grass rolling in waves on the great plains of Nebraska. Antonia’s determination to preserve her independence, her free spirit, her outlook on life, and her cheerful, joyful, lively attitude were refreshing and inspirational.The narrator’s dreaminess and thoughtful attitude created peace throughout the entire book. This is a book to read when you want to feel happy and have a new attitude towards life. I enjoyed every word of this amazing story, and I wish it hadn’t ended so quickly.


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