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The Spirit of Antonia in My Antonia
The life of Antonia Shimerdas, the main character in Willa Cather's My Antonia, could easily be judged a failure. Perhaps measures of wealth, career, beauty and love fall short when held next to Antonia. If one could categorize life by that unnamable light or spirit which Antonia never loses, she would surpass all who belittle her achievements in other areas.
Where the spirit comes from, no one can say. “Perhaps an ethereal or god-like being takes residence in the person's heart”(Helmick 46). Some may say it's simply the chemistry of human beings to vary in levels of energy, which manifests itself as vigor and enthusiasm for living. “But even one who attributes the undying light to an abundance of hormones or simply luck in life will ultimately hit a barrier to such a theory, as is the case with the timeless heroine, Antonia Shimerdas”(Helmick 48).
Only rarely does…