My Antonia

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The book, My Antonia, by Willa Cather is a superlative piece of realism and vivid storytelling. The novel relates, through the eyes of narrator, Jim Burden, the fact-based story of a Bohemian girl, Antonia Shimerda, thrown into rugged farm life. The colorful and sensible traits of the title character, combined with a memorable theme, endear this book to all who open its cover.

The first of these traits is the virtue of caring. Antonia watched over the children of her employer as if they were her own. She frequently acquainted them with the vibrant stories from her childhood and comforted them in their time of trouble. Additionally demonstrating her loving qualities, she was never ashamed of her illegitimate child and was always an exceptional mother. Finally, Antonia fiercely defended her family against insult, even to the points of vowing never to again notice one of her friends. Clearly, Antonia was the epitome of this virtue.

Perseverance is the next attribute which had been perfected by this young Bohemian. She always did the constant manual labor that was necessary to run the farm well. On the other hand, insisting to go to the “dances” every night, Antonia started neglecting her work. Also, she persisted in seeing boys whom she hardly knew; this habit eventually cost Antonia her job. Antonia is surely an example that persevering is not always a first-class quality of character.

Another personality characteristic of Antonia is her naivety. She persisted in traveling to Denver to marry a flighty young man, who, shortly after, left her and their unborn child. Additionally, trying to fit in, Mrs. Shimerda began to always dress like the other girls. Through this sample, it is obvious that this Bohemian, although mature in some ways, was ignorant of the seriousness of life.
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