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My Ántonia

Willa Cather

Book II, Chapters I–VII

Book I, Chapters XIV–XIX

Book II, Chapters I–VII, page 2

page 1 of 3

Summary: Chapter I

Almost three years after his move to Black Hawk, Jim and his grandparents decide to leave their farm in the countryside for a house on the outskirts of town. Finding himself out of work, Otto decides to head out west in search of adventure, and Jake decides to go with him. Before leaving, they help the Burdens move their household. One Sunday morning, they set off on a train, never to see Jim again.

Mr. Burden takes a post as a deacon at the Baptist church in Black Hawk, and Mrs. Burden helps out with the church’s social calendar. Jim begins attending the school in town and quickly adjusts to the company of his new classmates. Jim questions Ambrosch for any news about Ántonia whenever Ambrosch comes to town, but Ambrosch is taciturn and says little.

Summary: Chapter II

The Burdens’ nearest neighbors are the Harlings, a Norwegian family who also used to live on a farm. Three of the Harlings’ children are around Jim’s age, and their older sister, Frances, works in Mr. Harling’s office. In August, the Harlings’ cook leaves them, and Mrs. Burden convinces them to hire Ántonia.

Summary: Chapter III

With her warm personality and easy way, Ántonia is right at home among the Harlings, and she soon settles into a regular routine.

Summary: Chapter IV

One evening, a visitor calls for Ántonia at the Harlings’. Lena Lingard, a local farm girl, has come to announce that she has also found work in town, as a dressmaker. The Harlings welcome Lena, but Ántonia treats her coolly, unsure how she is meant to receive her visi-tor. Jim, thinking back to the stories he has heard of Lena, relates her entanglement with a neighboring farmer, Ole Benson, who became so smitten with Lena that his jealous wife attacked her.

Summary: Chapter V

During the autumn, Jim sees Lena often in town. He helps her to shop for fabric and they trade gossip and stories about life in Black Hawk. Shortly before Christmas, Jim sees Lena and her brother shopping for Christmas presents for their mother. Lena advises her brother to get her monogrammed handkerchiefs, and then, teary-eyed, tells Jim that she misses her family very much.

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Plot

by heggedunk, August 19, 2012

My Antonia is a modernist novel about the coming of age. Modernism is a style of writing used from the late 19th century till the 1930s. Modernism is a style that has no central plot instead it is more of a series of episodes. Please take note that most teachers ask for a specific plot where this novel doesn't really have one. My advice here would be to talk about the aging of the main characters or Jim's attraction to Antonia as a main plot. Also take note that both Jim Burden and Antonia can be considered Protagonists. I hope this helps as... Read more

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212 out of 243 people found this helpful

Regarding Mr.Shimerda

by STianF223, October 10, 2013

Mr. Shimerda CANNOT possibly have committed suicide for this is impossible. The scene has showed that Mr. Shimerda, laying on his side with the gun beside him. Otto's suspicion was that Mr. Shimerda was to lay on his side and put his long rifle in his mouth, using his big toe to pull the trigger, and kill himself. This would make sense, seeing how the scene was created and how there was a bullet hole in the wall until it takes up on account of two major problem, being the Shimerdas are HIGHLY religious and that there were pieces of his head,... Read more

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20 out of 46 people found this helpful

Another Harling

by rachelnolan, November 20, 2013

Actually, Sally is not the youngest Harling child, Nina is. They have 5 children.

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