Analysis of My Antonia by Willa Carter Essay

Analysis of My Antonia by Willa Carter 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 made her an icon ever since her books reached the shelves.

Characters
All of the main characters in My Antonia are thoughtful, intelligent people, though not necessarily in terms of schooling or knowledge. Jim Burden, the story’s narrator, is a heart-felt, wistful personality. In basic terms, he is what would be called a “dreamer”. He lost both of his parents in an epidemic before the story begins, giving him an introverted style of interacting with strangers. Jim’s development as a character throughout the story is tied to his friendship with the remarkable character of Antonia. Through knowing her, he becomes less shy and more comfortable with other people. 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 possibly even a more prominent character than he is. She is especially lively, acting with a passion that Jim has never seen before. Says Jim,”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 Antonia’s family has encountered many hardships. They immigrated to America from Bohemia, uprooting th...


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...at the story we follow is a retelling by one of the main characters. This was an interesting way to write the book; it created a foundation for the rest of the book that the reader could always be sure about, and 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 a sense of peace. This is a book to read when you want to feel happy and have a new, positive attitude towards life. I enjoyed every word of this amazing story, and I wish it hadn’t ended so quickly.

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