Essay PreviewMore ↓
The Character of Antonia Shimerda in My Antonia
Antonia Shimerda spends her whole life fighting, yet she is not known to be belligerent. She is constantly being battered, but still has no visible scars. Antonia is a girl who suffers all through her life, and somehow manages to keep an optimistic outlook. She is one of those rare people who gain character, rather than resentment, by enduring hardship. Throughout the book, MY ANTONIA, the strength and perseverance of this girl definitely portray her as "battered but not diminished."
The symbol of freedom, courage and hardship, the country seems to invite all to come and settle, but not without a struggle. Antonia, along with her family, is among the many that takes on this formidable task. A girl with a great heart, she comes to Nebraska virtually helpless, She arrives in an unfamiliar country with the knowledge to speak only a few words in the native language, and her family with no knowledge at all. Living in a small hut made of dirt and wood, the Shimerda family is forced to make due with what it has; which is not much. This presents a tremendous strain on them. In contrast to Antonia's remarkable perseverance, misery plagues and inevitable overcomes her father. He eventually gives in to his despair, leaving his family to fend for themselves. There is a great sense of unease and apprehension that comes along with the suicide, that can be almost unbearable to a little girl. As any child, the loss of a parent is probably the most substantial event in his/her life and equally difficult to get over. Although Antonia never forgets her father, she uses her strength to move on.
No matter how she tries, Antonia cannot escape the prejudices that surround the town. Working as a hired girl, a job that demands the skill of a housekeeper and a nanny, Antonia becomes an outcast in the city. Consequently, she is forced to associate with only other working girls like herself. Yet it is not just her job that earns her the prejudice, it is the color of her skin. Working in the fields of the country, Antonia had gained a remarkable tan. The latter, although accepted in the country, brands her a peasant in the town. No refined lady would ever subject herself to the brutal country sun.
How to Cite this Page
"Free My Antonia Essays: The Character of Antonia Shimerda." 123HelpMe.com. 14 Nov 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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)
- My Antonia I think that My Antonia, written in 1918, is one of Cather's finest works. Critic H. L. Mencken thought it to be the most accomplished, and shortly after it was published in 1919 he wrote, "Her style has lost self-consciousness; her feeling for form has become instinctive. And she has got such a grip upon her materials...I know of no novel that makes the remote folk of the Western praries more real...and I know of none that makes them seem better worth knowing." One of the high points in the story is the tragic case of Mr.... [tags: My Antonia Essays]
745 words (2.1 pages)
- ... They were big and warm and full of light, like the sun shining on brown pools in the wood.” pg. 17. This is Jim’s description of Antonia. Her family has encountered many hardships. They immigrated from Bohemia, which uprooted them from their past lives. After they reached America, Antonia’s father committed suicide, leaving her family in poverty. Antonia is forced to work as a servant, but she somehow retains the independence and eternal cheerfulness that makes her stand out as a character. Through the story, Jim grows to love Antonia, although she can only love him as a friend.... [tags: story analysis]
1283 words (3.7 pages)
- ... 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 them from their past lives. After they reached America, Antonia’s father committed suicide, leaving her family in poverty. Antonia is forced to work as a servant, but she somehow retains the independence and eternal cheerfulness that makes her stand out as a character. As the story develops, Jim grows to love Antonia, although she can only love him as a friend.... [tags: characters, theme, language, view]
1373 words (3.9 pages)
- My Antonia 1. Jim Burden, a successful New York City lawyer, leaves an acquaintance a memoir of his Nebraska childhood in the form of a recollection of their mutual friend, Antonia Shimerda. Jim had first arrived in Nebraska at the age of ten, when he was made the trip west to live with his grandparents after finding himself as an orphan in Virginia. On this same train, Jim has his first glimpse of the Shimerdas, a Bohemian immigrant family traveling in the same direction. As fate would have it, the Shimerdas have taken up residence in a neighboring farm to the Burdens'.... [tags: Free Essay Writer]
1606 words (4.6 pages)
- The Character of Marek Shimerda in My Antonia In Willa Cather's novel, My Antonia, Marek Shimerda is starved for attention because he is constantly ignored due to his mental retardation. It is solely because of his handicap and the assumption of his inability to help out with the farming and household chores that his family views him as helpless which results in Marek's strange and awkward actions. He is presented as an ill minded young man throughout the novel, repeatedly excused, and resides in the shadow of his healthy, fully functional older brother, Ambrosh Shimerda.... [tags: My Antonia Essays]
692 words (2 pages)
- Mr. Shimerda's Suicide in Willa Cather's My Antonia My Antonia, by Willa Cather, is a novel about Jim Burden and his relationship and experiences growing up with Antonia Shimerda in Nebraska. Throughout the book Jim reflects on his memories of Nebraska and the Shimerda family, often times in a sad and depressing tone. One of the main ways Cather is able to provoke these sad emotions within the reader is through the suicide of Antonia’s father, Mr. Shimerda. His death was unexpected by everyone and it is thought that homesickness is what drove him to take his own life.... [tags: My Antonia Willa Cather Essays]
1212 words (3.5 pages)
- Conflict Shapes Character in Willa Cather's My Antonia The conflict in ones life will shape their character in the future. This is especially true in the novel My Antonia, 1918. The author Willa Cather takes you through the life of a young Bohemian immigrant, Antonia Shimerda, as seen through the eyes of her good friend Jim Burden. At age ten, Jim Burden lost both of his parents and was sent to live with his grandparents on their Nebraska farm. He first meets Antonia when his grandmother and one of the farm hands take the Shimerdas some provisions.... [tags: Cather My Antonia Essays]
769 words (2.2 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)
- The Powerful Character of My Antonia "Ántonia is a natural born mother." (Page 253) This was how everybody thought of Ántonia; she was a girl who would always leave a remarkable memory in everybody's mind through her strong, incredible strength. When she first came to Black Hawk, she was still a fourteen year old girl who ran in the field bare-footed and romping from place to place with Jim Burden. Her cheerfulness lessened when her father committed suicide and she had to take care of her family by coming to town and working as a hired girl for the Harlings.... [tags: My Antonia Essays]
662 words (1.9 pages)
- Importance of the Past in Willa Cather's My Antonia
- Vanity Exposed in Vanity Fair
- Characters of Catherine and Heathcliff in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights
- Themes of Love and Obsession in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights
- Shakespeare's Psalm 46
- Essay on Language and Mores in Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio
Having pushed all thoughts of Wick Cutter from her mind, Antonia meets Larry Donovan and falls in love with him. Her suitor for many years, Larry finally proposes to her. Things go great between the two and Antonia soon moves out to be with her fiancé. It is assumed that everything is fine. However this is not the case. Antonia eventually comes home carrying two burdens. In fact, one of them is literally weighing her down. Larry does not receive the job he was intimating, and proceeds to leave Antonia alone with his baby. The prejudice before mentioned comes back with tremendous vindictiveness as news of Antonia's situation spreads around town. The townspeople wait to see what Antonia's next step will be. They soon learn that her supposed shame is actually pride, and she is soon back to her spirited self once again. The town expects her to hid her baby from the world, but ironically, she goes to the town photographer and has a picture taken and framed extravagantly. Only the best is going to be sufficient for this child, whose beauty remarkably resembles that of Antonia.
In spite of many hardships Antonia has to undergo during the course of her life, she remains to all a symbol of strength, courage, and happiness. She never gives up her dreams or her responsibilities. She takes what life hands her, and does so with a smile. At the times when she has the right to give up, it is then when she is the strongest, and it is then when we see the true Antonia.