My Ántonia by Willa Cather is a story of the coming of age of Jim Burden and Ántonia Shimerda. The

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My Ántonia by Willa Cather is a story of the coming of age of Jim Burden and Ántonia Shimerda. The recently orphaned Jim moves to Blackhawk Nebraska to live with his grandparents. On his trip from Virginia to Nebraska, Jim first catches glimpse of the Bohemian immigrant family who happen to be moving in near the Burdens. Because she Shimerda’s speak no english, they are quickly cheated out of their money and have moved into a small lean-to on the side of a hill. Jim’s grandmother is a very kind woman and agrees to have Jim help Ántonia learn English. The two spend much time together and go on many adventures with Jim’s pony, Dude. It is on some of these adventures the reader is able to see how much the protagonists are maturing. On…show more content…
When Jim returns for a visit, the two reminisce and he feels that it may be the last time he returns and he attempts to memorize the prairie, fields and tall grass and recall what it felt like to run free through it with Ántonia beside him.
As fate may have it, Jim does indeed return to Black Hawk twenty years later to find that while he feels like he’s living an unfulfilled life, drifting around, Antonia has settled down and had many children with Anton Cuzak, a fellow native Bohemian. Jim listens to Ántonia happily tell stories about her children and the two spend the day looking at old photographs and telling stories. Jim feels like he knows all members of the family because Ántonia describes their lives so well.
The book ends with Jim reflecting on his life, realizing that many of the people he loved are now dead or have moved away from his small Nebraska home, but that he still longs for the prairie. He remembers the first time he saw Ántonia and her family, the scared, brave immigrants on the train with him trying to make a better life for themselves. He feels that Ántonia has fulfilled her goals and reached happiness, but that all he has tried to accomplish in life has left him feeling empyt and unhappy. Jim vows to return to the place he was his happiest, the place Ántonia and he grew up, the place where Ántonia

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