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Ántonia, who, even as a grown woman somewhat downtrodden by circumstance and hard work, "had not lost the fire of life," lies at the center of almost every human condition that Cather's novel effortlessly untangles. She represents immigrant struggles with a foreign land and tongue, the restraints on women of the time (with which Cather was very much concerned), the more general desires for love, family, and companionship, and the great capacity for forbearance that marked the earliest settlers on the frontier.
As if all this humanity weren't enough, Cather paints her descriptions of the vastness of nature--the high, red grass, the road that "ran about like a wild thing," the endless wind on the plains--with strokes so vivid as to make us feel in our bones that we've just come in from a walk on that very terrain ourselves. As the story progresses, Jim goes off to the University in Lincoln to study Latin (later moving on to Harvard and eventually staying put on the East Coast in another neat encompassing of a stage in America's development) and learns Virgil's phrase "Optima dies ... prima fugit" that Cather uses as the novel's epigraph. "The best days are the first to flee"--this could be said equally of childhood and the earliest hours of this country in which the open land, much like My Ántonia, was nothing short of a rhapsody in prairie sky blue. --Melanie Rehak --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
... it's a classic. It's a pleasure to read! Vivid picture of settlers on the Nebraska plains, on farms and in towns. The writing puts you right in the story. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Beausun
Willa Cather allowed us to see the lives of those who settled our country and problems we never have experienced with an encouraging climax. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Barbara Gurgel
"My Antonia" is part of my [reading required list from High School] which comprises 48 books in total. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Ana'FichesdeLectures
Simple story about simple people, but so insightful and so well told. I'm sure I'll read it again.Published 27 days ago by AB