My Antonia, by Willa Cather

720 Words3 Pages
Memories are a stockpile of good and bad experiences that are retained of a people, places. How do you remember your childhood memories? Do certain people, places or things trigger these memories to the past? Does the knowledge of these experience still affect your life today? Throughout the novel My Antonia, Jim's nostalgia for the past is represented by nature, symbolic elements, and above all Antonia. The Nebraskan prairies are beautiful and picturesque and set the scene for a memorable story. Big farm houses and windmills placed throughout the graceful flowing golden yellow grass become a nostalgic aspect of Jim as he leaves his childhood life behind. The frontier includes destructive and depressing winters and luscious summers that affect Jim's family and the immigrants. The gloominess of winter and the suicide of Mr. Shimerda provide memories that associate Jim's recollections with nature's seasons. The Christmas season provided faith to persevere through winter and the exchanging of gifts made happy memories, which Jim could not experience if snow darkness did not exist. The summers were most unforgettable though. The smoldering sun and fertile land made growing crops easy. The immigrants references of roads lined with sunflowers as opportunity inspired Jim to appreciate the splendor and bountifulness of the land. Later Jim encounters these pathways, now concealed because of erosion, remembering that "this was the road over which Antonia and I came when we got off the train . . . the feelings of that night had been so near that I could reach out and touch them with my hand. For Antonia and me, this had been the road of Destiny" (Cather237). He missed his home, full of infallible brilliance. The Cuzak family i... ... middle of paper ... ...rm house, where she and her copious family lives their content lives. His last memories of Antonia were made there and will never be forgotten. Cather mends a special relationship between Jim and Antonia that is formed and broken throughout her novel My Antonia. People fill the clouds of our memories immensely. Jim perceive the past with nostalgia, through nature, symbols, and Antonia. As the narrator in My Antonia, Jim presents a loving and affectionate mood towards his family, the immigrants and nature, which convinces the reader that this novel is a romance, one between Jim and life. Jim sees through the lens of nostalgia; the eyes that can see to the past through all of the components discussed. Life is memory, so live every second of every memory to its highest potential. Works Cited Cather, Willa. My Antonia. New York : Barnes & Noble Press, 2003. Print.
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