He went into the next room, sat down at my desk and wrote on the pinkish face of the portfolio the word “Antonia.” He frowned at this a moment, then prefixed another word, making it “My Antonia.” That seemed satisfy him. “Read it as soon as you can,” he said rising, “but don’t let it influence your own story.” My own story was never written, but the following narrative is Jim’s manuscript, substantially as he brought it to me.
-page 5, in the Introduction
We went with Mr.Shimerda back to the dug-out, where grandmother was waiting for me. Before I got into the wagon, he took a book out of his pocket, opened it, and showed me a page with two alphabets, one English and the other Bohemian. He placed this book in my grandmother’s hands, looked at her entreatingly, and said, with an earnestness which I shall never forget, “Te-e-ach, te-e-ach my Antonia!”
-pages 27-28, chapter 3, book 1
This is the road over which Antonia and I came on that night when we got off the train at Black Hawk and were bedded down in the straw, wondering children, being take we knew not whither. I had only to close my eyes and here the rumbling of the wagons in the dark, and to be again overcome by the obliterating strangeness. The feelings of that night were so near that I could reach out and touch them with my hands. I had the sense of coming home to myself, and of having found out what a little circle man’s experience is. For Antonia and for me, this had been the road of Destiny; had taken us to those early accidents of fortune which predetermined for us all that we can never be. Now I understood that the same road was to bring us together again. Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past.
Quote#3 We were all ranked togetherat the valuation. Men and women, old and young, married and single, were ranked with horses, sheep, and swine. There were horses and men, cattle and women, pigs and children, all holding the same rank in the scale of being, and were all subjected to the same narrow examination. Silvery-headed…