The story begins with Jim Burden being separated from his family after their deaths. Since he loses his parents, he must travel to Nebraska to live with his grandparents, a journey that he set out on with one of the farm “hands” of his father. This journey to Nebraska offers for Jim a new and different life. Jim’s forced separations “orphaned and expelled from the East by his relatives, feels the same sense of having ‘left behind’ forever the things and people that matter to him” (Holmes); a loss from what he knew and where he grew up, leaving behind everything, even his parents’ spirits. He expresses his journey as setting out to “try our fortunes in a new world” (Cather, 49). Jim knows that there is a separation all around him especially the separation from his coach car to the immigrant car, where Antonia and her family are traveling in: “their initial separation is a durable dividing line that foresh...
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...ction to people. Antonia does not allow for her separation to be a burden or barrier unless she wants it to be. This is seen when she travels back home after her failed marriage. She causes her own separation from the community when she closes herself off. With time, she takes her life back and returns to the community and ends the separation that she causes.
Cather, Willa. "The Norton Anthology American Literature." My Antonia. 8th ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company , 2012. 47-181. print.
Holmes, Catherine D. "Jim Burde's Lost Worlds: Exile In My Antonia." Twentieth Century Literature 45.3 (1999): 336. MAS Ultra - School Edition. Web. 14 March 2014.
Palmer, Scott. "'The train of thought': classed travel and nationality in Willa Cather's My Antonia." Studies in American Fiction 29.2 (2001): 239+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 14 March 2014.
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