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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. There, Ántonia met many friends but also, the new journey of her life also began.
"She will help some fellow get ahead of the world." (Page 121) Jim's grandfather commented when he saw Ántonia worked busily on the field. Everybody was pleased with Ántonia because she was helpful on the farm as well as in the house. Her strength and endurance revealed something unique and marvelous about her personality. "Everything she said seemed to come right out of her heart." (Page 258) Ántonia sometimes seemed silly in her own nature but was reliable and always listened and did what her heart told her to. She was a torch that lighted everybody around with her enthusiastic personality.
"If she once likes people, she won't hear anything against them." (Page 220) When Ántonia fell in love with Larry Donovan, she wouldn't listen to anybody who gave her advice against him. She trusted him with all her heart and that led to the result she got later. Larry Donovan did not want to marry her and abandoned her with a baby. Although heartbroken, she managed to go back home and live her life on the farm with her family. "There, without calling to anybody, without a groan, she lay down on the bed and bore her child." (Page 251) She bore her child herself without any help demonstrated how strong she was. "Another girl would have kept her baby out of sight, but Tony, of course, must have its picture on exhibition at the town photographer's, in great gilt frame." (Page 243) Ántonia was never ashamed but proud of her daughter although Larry had abandoned them and she managed to raise the child without him.
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"Whatever else was gone, Ántonia had not lost the fire of life." (Page 264) When Jim came back to see her, Ántonia was remarried a man named Anton Cuzak and together, they had many children. Although she was old and her skin had lost its flabbiness, but there always was something inside her that always remained young and fresh. Her children were all grown and had a really good manner; she seemed to be very proud of them. "They seemed to feel the same pride in her, and to look to her for stories and entertainment as we used to do." (Page 273) Ántonia's children always respected and loved their mother just like how Jim and the Harlings used to. Ántonia was so ingenuous and lively that she affected everybody around her, including her own children.
"She was a rich mine of life, like the founders of early races." (Page 274) No one had fully understood Ántonia because she seemed to be more vigorous and new each day. Her life confronted with happiness as well as sorrows, but unlike her father, she would never give up hope, determination, life, and especially her children. Although she was aged each day, she was still the same Ántonia like she was many years ago. Her children were well educated and well raised by their warmhearted and vigorous mother. To them, or to everybody, Ántonia was precisely a symbol for motherhood.