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My Antonia by Willa Cather Essay

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My Ántonia is an exceptional novel, about much more than pioneers, prairies and immigrants. It is about heart, strength and soul, embodied in the role of a Bohemian immigrant to the Nebraskan prairies, Ántonia Shimerda. Narrated through the eyes of her great childhood friend Jim Burden, who was brought to the prairies to reside with his grandparents after his parent’s deaths, Ántonia’s life is laid bare for the reader. Her spirit, her beauty, her rarity, all radiate out from Jim’s words. Despite hardships, losses, struggles and terrible mistakes, Ántonia’s heart, her joyfulness of life, her purity, her precious ability to discover value and significance in what others would dismiss as useless, never belittle. Her optimism, determination, strength and independence of character make her a creature isolated from the rest of her generation. Even clothed in rags and plowing fields, there is a profundity, a grace, elegance, about her. She is a power of nature, the spirit of America; she is at a time simple and yet incomprehensibly complex.
Jim loves Ántonia as much as he loves the prairies...


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