He tells the story of the titular character, Antonia Shimerda, the eldest daughter of a family of Bohemians living in a little farm community to the west of Black Hawk. Jim, who is orphaned at the beginning of the novel and sent to live with his grandparents, spends most of his childhood playing with Antonia, his neighbor, whom he teaches to read. Jim and Antonia also spend time with Peter, one of the two Russians who live nearby and work a small farm with chickens on it.
Arriving by train in the prairie town of Black Hawk late at night, the boy notices an immigrant family huddled on the station platform.
Jim and Jake are met by a lanky, scar-faced cowboy named Otto Fuchs, who drives them in a jolting wagon across the empty prairie to the Burden farm.
Jim grows to love the vast expanse of land and sky. At first, the newcomers impress Jim unfavorably. The Shimerdas are poor and live in a dugout cut into the earth.
The place is dirty, and the children are ragged.
Jim often finds his way to the Shimerda home. One day, her father, with his English dictionary tucked under his arm, corners Jim and asks him to teach the girl English. Now he is worn down by poverty and overwork. He seldom laughs any more. After his death, she shoulders his share of the farmwork.
When spring comes, she goes with Ambrosch into the fields and plows like a man.
The harvest brings money, and the Shimerdas soon have a house. With the money left over, they buy plowshares and cattle. He suffers at school and spends his idle hours roaming the barren gray streets of Black Hawk. Jim notices that she is more feminine and laughs more often; though she never shirks her duties at the Harling house, she is eager for recreation and gaiety.
The entire section is 1, words.My Antonia study guide contains a biography of Willa Cather, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. About My Antonia My Antonia Summary.
Jan 01, · Published in , this novel, set on the plains of Nebraska, is as fresh and memorable today as it was when it was published, largely because author Willa Cather has chosen to emphasize her fascinating characters and setting, instead of creating a fast-paced plot/5(7).
Test your knowledge of My Ántonia with our quizzes and study questions, or go further with essays on the context and background and links to the best resources around the web.
From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes My Ántonia Study Guide has everything you . At once a graceful summary of Cather's life and work, and a refreshing plea that books be read for themselves, Willa Cather and the Politics of Criticism will also inspire readers to return to one of America's great novelists.
Apr 11, · Return To The Prairie To Revisit 'My Antonia' Willa Cather's pioneer tale is often considered a young adult novel — but don't be fooled by the .