The Relationship of Jim Burden & Antonia Shimerda

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In this thesis statement, I’m going to discuss how much Jim Burden feels about Antonia Shimerda. The relationship between Jim Burden and Antonia Shimerda is very special, They share a closeness that proves to withstand the tests of time. Even after years went by and their lives had changed considerably, Jim and Antonia kept a loyal, beautiful friendship. They both had met as youngsters, embanking on a new adventure, new life in the West. Jim had been the first person that taught Antonia the English language. She admired Jim’s knowledge and talents. When Jim tells Antonia how important she is to him, he’s telling her that she is his counterpart. He says, “The idea of you is a part of my mind; you influence my likes and dislikes, all my tastes, hundreds of times when I don’t realize it. You really are a part of me.” Jim says that he might have liked to have Antonia as something closer like, “a sweetheart, or a wife, or my mother or my sister,” but he never went after her like that. He refers to Antonia as; “My Antonia” because she is his due to the fact that he’s took in the image of her so much that its part of him now. One reason Jim and Antonia never married was because they viewed the value of the land differently. Throughout the story, Antonia was a representation of a life very different from Jim’s and her strong bond with the land shows us Jim’s fascination with Antonia. She was his counterpart. Antonia represented an alternative to Jim’s life. Unlike Jim, she was able to move away from all the stereotypes and boundaries of her class and gender. That’s why he says, “The idea of you is a part of my mind.” He is saying that it’s the “idea” of Antonia that’s a part of him, like his own imagination of her in his head. Antonia is a big part of Jim. When Jim appears unannounced back in Black Hawk, Nebraska after his twenty-year absence it proved the depth of his affection for Antonia. Antonia's immediate warm welcoming of him shows her inner feelings....
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