Throughout the book "My Antonia" by Willa Cather, there is a twisting and turning of Sexual and Gender issues. There also tends to be a tension surrounding the different classes between the Black Hawk towns people, and what are called, "the hired girls" or the people from the country. These distinctive qualities in this novel start being shown in the very beginning or the story where Jims' best-friend speaks about the life of Jim and the path with whom he chose to travel. We watch the love of Jim grow farther and farther distant due to the inevitable tensions of classes, sexuality, and gender.
In the beginning of the story when Antonia and Jim are still becoming acquainted the audience meets these two characters in a "prairie-dog town" on their way back from picking up a spade for Antonia's' brother Ambrosch at Russian Peter's House. Antonia had suggested that herself and Jim see if the prairie-dog town holes "ran straight down, or were horizontal, like mole holes."(pg.30) Within the time that Jim and Antonia were there the two young kids cam across a large snake, as Jim says, "He was not merely a big snake, I thought--he was a circus monstrosity. He was abominable muscularity, his loathsome, fluid motion, somehow made me sick."(pg.31) Jim kills the snake and we see a change in position for Antonia and Jim. Antonia goes to say, "I never know you was so brave, Jim, you is just like big mans; you wait for him lift his head and then you go for him. Ain't you feel scared a bit? Now we take that snake home and show everybody. Nobody ain't seen in this kawn-tree so big snake like you kill." This was the beginning of the gender break between the females and ...
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...od times go in and out of Jims life. As he gets older he realizes what he has missed out on much of life.
Bloom, Harold, ed. Willa Cather's My Antonia. New York: Chelsea House Publishers. 1987.
Bourne, Randolph. "Review of My Antonia." Murphy's Critical Essays 145-147.
Cather, Willa. My Antonia. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995.
Dyck, Reginald. "The Feminist Critique of Willa Cather's Fiction: A Review Essay." Women's Studies 22 (1993): 263-279.
Ferguson, Mary Anne. "My Antonia in Women's Studies: Pioneer Women and Men-- The Myth and the Reality." Rosowski's Approaches to Teaching 95-100.
Helmick, Evelyn. "The Mysteries of Antonia." Bloom's Willa Cather's . . . , 109-119.
Rosowski, Susan J., ed. Approaches to Teaching Cather's My Antonia. New York: The Modern Language Association of America. 1989.
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