AllBestEssays.com - All Best Essays, Term Papers and Book Report
Search

My Antonia Analysis

Essay by   •  October 10, 2011  •  Case Study  •  907 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,861 Views

Essay Preview: My Antonia Analysis

Report this essay
Page 1 of 4

My Antonia Analysis

My Antonia is a very interesting book by Willa Cather. The book questions the characters' gender roles within the timeframe and the characters' ability to undergo some sort of change by the end of the story. Throughout the story, the reader expects the characters to go through some type of change and to meet their expected gender role; however, this never happens. I believe that is what makes this book such an entertaining piece of literature to read.

In my opinion, Jim is the most intriguing character in My Antonia. Throughout the story, Jim does not show the typical signs of being a masculine character. While in Black Hawk, he never does any work on the farm, despite the fact that his grandparents own the farm and was probably expected to help out at least a little bit. Even when Jim is older, he still does not act very masculine. He allows Antonia and Lena to dictate where their relationships go. To me, the most irritating characteristic of Jim is his inability to be forward with any of the girls that he has feelings for. On multiple occasions, Jim allows Antonia to dictate their friendship whether or not to move forward with Jim's feelings for Antonia. Also, Jim has a tendency to be emotional. Throughout My Antonia, Jim can be happy or content with Antonia, but then she does something out of instinct, he becomes angry with her. However, since Jim spent the first ten years of his life in Philadelphia, it is probable that he never worked on a farm which could result in him not working on a farm in Black Hawk. Jim's advancement into the law field could also stem from his upbringing in Philadelphia. His non-interest and lack of performance in the farm fields make him an obvious choice in the law field where he does not do any manual labor.

Antonia does not meet with any of the gender roles in the story. She comes off as a very masculine figure and dominates any relationship she has, whether it is a friendship or working relationship. She is in control of the relationship between her and Jim which makes her seem like the masculine figure in the story that we lack from Jim. The relationship between Jim and Antonia is also abnormal. In that time period, the typical relationship had the male being the older than the female. However, Antonia is four years older than Jim. Though this is abnormal, it is also oddly normal considering Antonia is the more masculine figure than Jim. Also, she had a child outside of wedlock, which for that time period usually makes a person a social outcast. She does not conform to many social norms, but this could come from her life in Bohemia. We do not know anything about her life there, so her failure to meet the social norms in Black Hawk could have been socially acceptable in Bohemia. Because she is an immigrant, her life is naturally harder than most, which causes her to attach to Jim when he saves

...

...

Download as:   txt (4.8 Kb)   pdf (72.5 Kb)   docx (10.2 Kb)  
Continue for 3 more pages »
Only available on AllBestEssays.com