Free My Antonia Essays: Female Roles


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Female Roles in My Antonia          

 

"THERE was a curious social situation in black hawk. All the young men felt the attraction of the fine, well-set-up country girls who had come to town to earn a living, and, in nearly every case, to help their fathers struggle out of debt, or to make it possible for the younger children of the family to go to school." (Page 127) This was the way of life for most girls around the 1920s.

The book My Antonia by Willa Cather, Refreshingly creates female roles and strong personalities. Frances Harling, Molly Gardner, And Lena Lingard are excellent examples of such women. Frances Harling is one of the vast examples of what a strong woman can be. She is very responsible. She takes care of her father's business when he goes out of town, and on Sundays she would go to the office just to read the mail. Frances is very talented. She could play the piano with out a light and talk to her mother at the same time. Frances also was one of the most dependable people in town. If any one had a wedding she would bring a present. If there was a funeral she would be there to help console them. You could always count on her to be there. Molly Gardner had a strong personality. Molly would show her personality by the way she presented herself. Jim the narrator said "Mrs. Gardener was admittedly the best-dressed woman in Black Hawk, drove the best horse, and had a smart trap and a little white-and-gold sleigh."(Page 117) Molly liked to have the best meterial goods in the town, and she liked to show them off. Mollys personality was the reason that her husband’s and her business did so well. Jim also said "…he knew that without her he would hardly be more that a clerk in some other man’s hotel."(Page 122) Molly would also go on all the business trips because she was the smarter one between her and her husband. Lena Lingard was not one of the most respected people in town, but she wanted to improve herself. She wanted to get away from the farm she thought the work on the farm was endless. Lena had left the farm at a young age to become a seamstress and study under Mrs. Tomas, a well known dress-maker in town.

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Her mother supported her decision and Lena was planning on making some money and helping her mother, back on the farm. One of Lena’s weak points and the reason the town talked about her was that she was a flirt. ""I didn’ know if your mother would like her coming here,"said Antonia, looking troubled. "She was kind of talked about, out there."" Lena would be chased by guys and their girlfriends because she would flirt so much and that would upset the girlfriends. My Antonia shows the strong personalities and positive life roles of women in the 1920s. Frances Harling, Molly Garner, and Lena Lingard all show this in the way they presented themselves in Black Hawk. Frances shows responsibility skills, Molly shows leadership skills, and Lena shows the will to improve herself. If ever woman or man had these skills they would have no trouble getting through life.


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