My Antonia Holding on to the last Essay examples

Submitted By Nlevinsky1324
Words: 1064
Pages: 5

Living in the Nebraskan prairie means many things, but evidence in My Ántonia shows that faith has a major role in pioneer life. Faith is complete trust in someone or something. In the novel, My Ántonia, Willa Cather celebrates the faith that pioneers have in their lives and implies the way that faith brings them together. Cather tells how characters such as Jim Burden and Ántonia Shimerda keep their faith in the land and others whom they love throughout the text. The faith in religion is portrayed in the novel when Mr. Burden recites the psalms and the Burdens, Otto, and Jake are all gathered to listen. Jim describes his thoughts and feelings about his grandfather reading the psalms right before bed during one of his early times living in the prairie. “Before we went to bed, Jake and Otto were called up to the living-room for prayers. Grandfather put on silver-rimmed spectacles and read several psalms. His voice was so sympathetic and he read so interestingly that I wished he had chosen one of my favorite chapters of Book of Kings. I was awed by his intonation of the word ‘Selah’. He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellence of Jacob whom he loved. ‘Selah’. I had no idea what it meant; perhaps he had not. But as he uttered it, it became oracular the most sacred of words”(Cather 143) The reason Mr. Burden is wearing silver-rimmed spectacles could be because he has a silver tongue when it comes to reading Psalms. His voice is so majestic and smooth that everyone around him was compelled to listen to his strong iteration of Psalms. Jim wishes that his grandfather would have chosen to read one of his favorite chapters of Book of Kings because some of it very much relates to his life. Just as Solomon's father died so did Jim's. Solomon wanted only the gift of wisdom from God. As Jim moves to Nebraska he gains a lot of wisdom about things he never knew about whether it be his grandparents he never met, foreigners, and even learning how to adapt to life the way Solomon was forced to after the death of his father. Although Jim has no idea what "Selah" means, he thinks of it oracularly, the most sacred if words. This suggest that maybe he thought of his grandfather as some kind of prophet as did the others listening to his prayers. To Jim, it didn't matter what "Selah" meant, what mattered was that his grandfather was beautifully reciting it and everyone around him was compelled by the holiness he had as he recited that word. Overall, as Mr. Burden was reciting the Psalms, everyone in the household came together to listen and share their common faith to God and religion. Before Jim goes to New York to work in his career in law he says his final goodbyes to Ántonia. He promises her that he will return to her. Before Jim goes to New York to work in his career in law he says his final goodbyes to Ántonia. He promises her that he will return to her. “’I`ll be back’ I said earnestly, through the soft, intrusive darkness. ‘Perhaps you will’-I felt rather than saw her smile. ‘But even if you don`t, you`re here like my father. So I won`t be lonesome,’” (Cather 2620). Many examples of faith are shown to be passed between Jim and Ántonia during this conversation. It is dark so they cannot really see each others facial expressions, but as Jim mentions he feels it. He feels Ántonia smile. It shows that there can be faith in things that are not visible such as a smile in the dark, a dead father, or even a friend who is thousands of miles away. Having faith in a person is having complete trust in them and based on Ántonia's smile she knows that Jim will return to her no matter no what it takes. Jim feels