The setting of the story has tremendous impact on the characters and themes in the novel "My Antonia" by Willa Cather. Cather's delicately crafted naturalistic style is evident not only in her colorfully detailed depictions of the Nebraska frontier, but also in her characters’ relationship with the land on which they live. The common naturalist theme of man being controlled by nature appears many times throughout the novel, particularly in the chapters containing the first winter.
The Burden's and the Shimerda's, try as they might, cannot fight the harsh climate of the Nebraska prairie. Rather than attempt to control the environment around them, they must learn to work with it and adjust to make do with what they have. Jim learns this his first winter, as well as the Shimerda's, for they are both newcomers to a strange place. They realize that trying to fight the wind and snow will do more harm than good, and adapt themselves to work when weather permits and hope nature...
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- The Importance of the Past in Willa Cather's My Antonia In My Antonia, Willa Cather emphasizes the importance of the past through Jum Burden's narration. Jim Burden realizes at the conclusion of the novel how much he enjoyed his childhood days and how much his memories mean to him. There are three events that Cather included in the novel which contribute greatly to the overall theme, concerning the importance of the past. One event is in Chapter II of Book III. Jim decides to write about his youth in Nebraska as Vergil has just done.... [tags: My Antonia Essays]
679 words (1.9 pages)
- Importance of Landscape in My Antonia In the book, My Antonia, the landscape along with Jim's reactions to it help us to feel all the emotions of the scene. His feelings of lonliness, sadness, awe and happiness are felt through his words and we can form a picture from the descriptions, adding to what we already know. He feels these emotions in the first few scenes. All because he wants a place to call home. The feelings we get when Jim arrives are awe with hints if lonliness. He pulls into town and is being taken to his grandparent's house.... [tags: My Antonia Essays]
1035 words (3 pages)
- Stages of Life in My Antonia In the past, critics have demoralized and brutalized every writer they could get their pen on. This is seen from criticisms of Henry Adams to William Butler Yeats. These critics critique everything about the writer and his/her works. For instance, many critics criticize Willa Cather's novel, My Antonia. Their criticisms lie on the basis that My Antonia is based on cyclical themes with no structure holding each of My Antonia's books. In other words, as a collection of five different accounts remembered by the main character, Jim Burden, My Antonia is characterized by a loose plot structure, yet common themes are expressed through the cyclical nature, inc... [tags: My Antonia Essays]
1576 words (4.5 pages)
- According to James E. Miller Jr.'s, "My Antonia; A Frontier Drama of Time," Willa Cather's novel, one of her most important and perhaps most popular works, is "defective in structure" (Bloom, 21). He quotes E. K. Brown, who defends that: " 'Everything in the book is there to convey a feeling, not to tell a story, not to establish a social philosophy, not even to animate a group of characters'" (21). The reader undoubtedly feels the impact of the story of Antonia and Jim as Cather intended, but critics blind themselves to the essence of My Antonia, by looking for a "consistent central action of unbroken character portrayal" (21). The structure bases itself on the narrative of Jim Burde... [tags: My Antonia Essays]
1584 words (4.5 pages)
- Criticism of My Antonia My Antonia by Willa Cather is a novel based on the memories of the protagonist, Jim Burden. Many critics have criticized this novel, and have focused on such literary elements as symbolism, motif, and characterization. The strongest argument however is the one that states that the foundation of every element in the book is based on the personal memories of Willa Cather. Many critics have discussed the symbolism in this novel. One symbol that some critics have discussed is the plow.... [tags: My Antonia Essays]
850 words (2.4 pages)
- The Spirit of Antonia in My Antonia The life of Antonia Shimerdas, the main character in Willa Cather's My Antonia, could easily be judged a failure. Perhaps measures of wealth, career, beauty and love fall short when held next to Antonia. If one could categorize life by that unnamable light or spirit which Antonia never loses, she would surpass all who belittle her achievements in other areas. Where the spirit comes from, no one can say. “Perhaps an ethereal or god-like being takes residence in the person's heart”(Helmick 46).... [tags: My Antonia Essays]
1247 words (3.6 pages)
- Antonia and Jim of My Antonia In Willa Cather's My Antonia a special bond is formed, shattered, mended, and eventually secured between the main characters, Antonia Shimerda and Jim Burden. Jim and Antonia seem to be destined to affect each other's lives dramatically, from the beginning of the novel. Starting at a young age, the main characters lives are intertwined. They form a special bond, which have both positive and negative affects on their relationship. At the time when Jim and Antonia are growing up, a rigid social structure exists in Nebraska.... [tags: My Antonia Essays]
1504 words (4.3 pages)
- Struggle with the Land in My Antonia In Willa Cather’s novel My Antonia a major theme that is addressed is the struggle with the land. In this essay, I will discuss this theme in relation to the text, the characters & the events they face, & the setting. The text is largely influenced by this theme of mans relationship to the land. Cather describes the land where the land where the Shimerda’s & the Burdens lived as the beautiful – the slow rolling hill covered in a sea of red grass, the circle of open sky above & land below.... [tags: My Antonia Essays]
433 words (1.2 pages)
- A psychoanalytical look at the characters of My Antonia provides a better understanding of action vs. intent of each individual, particularly Jim Burden. The introduction prepares the reader by laying out a profile of Jim. Without the understanding of the origin of the novel the reader would not be able to assess the true meaning of the novel nor would they really grasp the concepts and issues that are being discussed through the story itself. So, with this essay I will bring together the importance of the introduction and how it correlates to Jim's search for a parental role. Jim Burden is one of the more complex characters that any one reader will ever encounter. ... [tags: My Antonia Essays]
1607 words (4.6 pages)
- Weak Structure and Powerful Drama in My Antonia Much of the earliest criticism of My Antonia focuses on the apparent failure of the narrative. Many critics take the title of the story and its introduction at face value. When the story says it is to be about Ántonia, it must be about her. Therefore, many critics see the stunningly crafted pieces of "variation from a theme" -- the stories of Peter & Pavel (the Russians and their wolves) and the sections of the novel dealing with the hired girls Lena Lingard and others-- as divergences which weaken the overall structure of the novel.... [tags: My Antonia Essays]
1813 words (5.2 pages)