My Antonia Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of My Antonia

My Antonia is a book about a Bohemian girl who comes to America for the first time when she was ten years old with her family from Hungary. They settle in Black Hawk, Nebraska and Antonia befriends seven-year-old Jimmy who has been living in Black Hawk with his family his whole life.
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Antonia's mother is very haughty and says that Jimmy must teach Antonia English. So every afternoon, they play a lot and Jimmy teaches her English.
Farm life became hard for Jimmy's family so they move into town where Jimmy's mother would work in a shop and his sisters would sew for money. Jimmy missed his playmate Antonia and wondered if he was ever going to see her again.
One day, Antonia visited Jimmy at the store to tell him that her family moved to town also. Jimmy is overjoyed and they now are able to walk to each other's stores. Antonia is now seventeen and she is rather girly. She has three new friends who are nice but carefree about their futures. Jimmy's mother gets worried about Antonia and warns her to stop going to dances with her friends because they are a bad influence on her. Antonia just laughs it off though.
Antonia soon becomes careless and loses her job as a nanny because of it. Antonia just yells at her employer that she doesn't need to be a nanny anyway.
Jimmy goes off to college in New York and doesn't see Antonia. He hears that Antonia eloped with a railroad conductor only to be abandoned by him.
When Jimmy is near forty, he visits Antonia who married a different person. Antonia has eleven children and one of them is named after him.
The review of this Book prepared by alisa

My Antonia is a beautifully written book told through the eyes of Jim Burden, an orphan who moves to Nebraska to live with his grandparents. For Jim and his beloved Antonia Shimerda, a Bohemian immigrant, Nebraska was quite different from their home "country": "There was nothing but land: not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made." My Antonia begins in a desolate "kawn-tree" called Nebraska, where it also ends, though quite changed. Willa Cather addresses sexual impulses in a delicate, between-the-lines-manner like only a woman can. After growing up, Jim goes back to Nebraska (at age 40) to visit his childhood friend, Antonia. Though time and life have taken their toll on her, Jim still sees her eternal Eve-like beauty, comparing her to "the founders of early races." My Antonia explores the faltering concept of memory, innocence, sexuality (though no sexual scenes are present in the book), hardship, as well as many other themes.
The review of this Book prepared by Jenny Taylor

This book took us on a journey from a child to adult on a Nebraska farm.Along the way we met Antonia and felt her tragidies and triumphs.
The review of this Book prepared by Rebecca Rivera

Triumph of a teenage Czech immigrant in the Nebraska Farmlands during the 1920's.
A novel of strength of character.
Supreme novel of the American Experience.
The review of this Book prepared by John Patrick

Chapter Analysis of My Antonia

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Poverty, surviving    -   Yes Kind of living:    -   farm poverty Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   farmer Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Eastern European


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   8 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast    -   Midwest Prairie?    -   Yes Farm/Ranch?    -   Yes Farm/Ranch:    -   farm

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like My Antonia

Willa Cather Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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