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My Antonia by Willa Cather Essay

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Journeying across the immense great planes at the age of ten, Jim was introduced to a new destiny with in the landscape of Nebraska. We saw as he developed from a young boy into a successful New York lawyer. Jim’s relationships throughout the novel, contribute to his transformation as a character. As he transitioned into adulthood, Jim was always referring to the past as an important period of his life; he consistently refers to nostalgic memories from his adolescents. He referrers to his memories in Nebraska as, “In the course of twenty crowded years one parts with many illusions. I did not wish to lose the early ones. Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again” (259). He claims that the memories he developed during adolescents, especially with Antonia, are stronger than any new illusions that could happen in the future. He later states, “my mind plunged away from me, and I suddenly found myself thinking of the places and people of my own infinitesimal past. They stood out strengthened and simplified now, like the image of the plough against the sun” (216).
Jim’s nostalgia of Antonia is introduced in the novel first when he is leaving for school and Lena is introduced back into his life; second when he comes back to Blackhawks to see Antonia. When Jim is first leaving for school he is laying on the bank with Antonia, he exclaims, “ Antonia seemed to me that day exactly like the little girl who used to come to our house with Mr. Shimerda” (129). This happened before Jim and Antonia spent any time apart, however, Jim still recalls the time of his fond childhood memories. He consistently recalls the time spent with Antonia because he has had feelings for her his entire life Talki...


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...ey sent on the Nebraska landscape. Both characters are happy throughout the novel, however, they refer to the time thy spent together. Cather is trying to show that Jim and Antonia are fond of a simple part of their lives; where they would explore the land. The last stanza of the novel reads, “I had the sense of coming home to myself, and of having found out what a little circle man’s experience is… Now I understood that the same road was to bring us together again. Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past” (196). Carter is elaborating that the characters will never be able to communicate to others what their time spent at adolescents in Nebraska was like, but they will always know how it makes them fell. The small moments they spent together was like, from killing the six foot rattle snake, to dancing late into the night.



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