My Antonia By Jim Burden: A Character Analysis

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A person’s experiences and memories shapes them into the person they become. In the novel My Ántonia, the narrator Jim Burden describes how he grew up in the plains of Nebraska alongside a Bohemian girl, Ántonia. The reader is allowed to see this girl grow up through her struggles and become a grown woman, with her husband and many children. The lesson’s Ántonia learned as a young woman determined who she would become later in her life. At the very beginning of the novel, it became evident Ántonia’s family, the Shimerda’s, were bound to have a difficult time. As a family of Bohemian immigrants, they were deceived into purchasing their house, which was described as “a wild place where there was no garden or chicken-house, and very little broken land” (Walton 21). During winter, the family had a lot of misfortunate, with a freezing house and little food to eat, but the girls “were always ready to forget their trouble” (Walton 30). Although Ántonia and her family grew up poor, she was taught that money doesn't buy happiness. Even when she was working for the Burdens, Ántonia was described as the epitome of happiness, “She …show more content…
This value was passed onto Ántonia, when she had to learn another language since her parents “realized it was important that one member of the family should learn English” (Walton 28). She also gained the skills needed to work in the fields for her family, where she worked “from sun-up until sun-down” (Walton 100). With the perseverance and skills she learned as a young girl, she was able to start a great life for her husband and children. Ántonia stated, “The first ten years were a struggle… We’d never had gotten through if I hadn’t been so strong” (Walton 254). Her new property now included crops, trees, cows, an orchard, and much more. Due to the policy she was taught when she was younger, Ántonia provided a beautiful life for her