A Summary About My Antonia English Literature Essay

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The novel is dated back to a Iowa summer. The narrator is rethinking back of a trip he encountered with a friend named Jim Burden in which he grew up with in a quaint Nebraska town. He goes on to the fact of talking about his childhood on the prairie, and reminiscing that they both ended up in New York City. He then comments on the fact that they don't see each other much. The narrator also states that Jim is always away on business a lot and that in a way is good in a sense that he really "doesn't care for his wife much" anyhow. While discussing his train trip, each and every topic by the narrator and his friend Jim seem to end up with them discussing a young girl named Antonia. Antonia is a girl whom he has lost in touch with over the years. Jim was also a friend who knew Antonia. Jim mentions to the narrator that he kept writings about Antonia. After a few months later, the narrator and Jim share a portfolio that Jim has develop about the life of Antonia and her family. The portfolio read "My Antonia" across the front of it.

This story then recalls a time of Jim at ten years old, his parents both dead is making a trip from Virginia to stay with his parents in Black Hawk Nebraska. Jim only being ten was traveling with a farm hand known as Jake Marpole who was not much more than Jim but knew a little more of the world than Jim did. While on the train a conductor openly expresses to Jim that an immigrant family who is also on board is also traveling to Black Hawk Nebraska. They are known as the Shimerdas, a Bohemian family that doesn't speak any English except for one of their children known as Antonia who is not much older than Jim. The train finally reaches Black Hawk. Jim and Jake get off the train only to meet up with Otto Fuchs, who is one of the Burdens hired hand. As the boys set off with Mr. Fuchs, Jim notices that the Shimerdas are setting off as well, he notices Antonia. Mr. Fuchs, Jake and Jim enter a covered wagon and Jim is a little afraid of the Nebraskan landscape of being so void. He eventually falls asleep, while the wagon continues its journey. The next day while arriving at the farm, Mrs. Burden, Jim's grandmother is happy to see him and then draws him a bath. Afterwards, Jim takes the rest of the day to explore his surroundings. While at supper Jake discusses his hometown in Virginia with the Burdens. The evening draws to a close with family prayers. The next morning, Jim has an invitation to pick potatoes with his grandmother, but decides to reluctantly sit back in a pumpkin patch instead. Sunday morning begins with a trip to see the new neighbors, the Shimerdas. Jim's grandmother Mrs. Burden, makes a statement to her grandson on the fact that the Shimerdas were taken advantage of by being overcharge for their farmhouse, and also the fact that it was not well insulated for the harsh Nebraska winters. Also, Mrs. Burden has made some fresh bread for her new Bohemian neighbors. While caught up in conversation with the Shimerdas and Mrs. Burden, Jim and Antonia decide to run off and play in the tall green grass with Antonia's little sister Yulka traveling behind. Jim and Antonia begin to connect well and Jim and starts to teach Antonia some English. Antonia's father hears her daughter and asked Mrs. Burden if she will teach Antonia the English language. As the day wears on Jim takes his first pony ride. This will be one of many rides Jim will be fond of taking. As he rides the landscape imagines remind him of Mr. Fuchs story of the sunflowers that filled the land that sprang from the seed of the Mormons on the journey to Utah.

Jim loves the fact that he gets to ride his pony 2 times a week to the post office. Sometimes just riding about going nowhere just to see the pretty landscape that Nebraska has to offer, relaxes his mind. Of course Antonia always travels with him at his side learning what English she could. On one autumn afternoon, Jim and Antonia visit her parents and the Shimerdas have favored him immediately. They meet up with Peter, whose neighbor that gives them a sack of cucumbers and milk. They also encounter Mr. Shimerda who just caught three rabbits for his evening dinner. The rabbits fur will make an excellent winter hat for Antonia. One day Jim and Antonia takes a trip on his pony to see Peter to ask him to borrow a spade so Ambrosch, Antoinas brother can use it. On the way home, they spot a group of prairie-dog holes. Suddenly, Antonia sees an enormous snake and cries out loudly, which causes the snake to go in their direction. She points at the snake and shouts at Jim in her own language. Jim turning about sees the snake, swiftly gathers his wits and uses the spade to kill it .

Jim gets upset at Antonia for not letting him know in English about the presence of the snake, but forgives her. They bring the dead snake home to show off Jim's encounter. The size and length of the snake impresses Jim's family, and Antonia takes great pleasure from relating the story . The Russians, Peter and Pavel, are having a tough time making ends meet. Peter finds himself deeply in debt to a moneylender whose known as Wick Cutter. In the meantime, Peter has a bad injury from a fall. When Peter arrives at the Burdens' to ask the Shimerdas, who are visiting, for help. Jim decides to go with Antonia and her father to the Russians' farm. They arrive after nightfall and find Pavel lying on the ground, due to the wolf attacks. A while ago when Peter and Pavel were residing in Russia, attended a winter wedding party between a friend and a girl from a neighboring township. The story goes like this: On the way home from the wedding, a pack of wolves attacked the wedding party while in their sledges. Everyone died, with the exception of Pavel and Peter, who were steering the sledges that carried the newly married couple. While in a panicked effort to lighten that sledge's load to go faster Pavel had thrown the couple to the wolves accidentally! Oh my God! The shame of this incident drove Pavel and Peter from their hometown and eventually from Russia. The memory of the horror of that evening played in their heads and in their hearts for both Pavel and Peter. Then Pavel dies days after Antonia and Jim's visit. Peter sells all that he has and decides to leave America. This makes Mr. Shimerda realizes that he had lost two of the only friends he had made in this country. Pavel's story continues to reminisce in Antonia and Jim's lives well after Pavel is gone. At the first snowfall, Otto Fuchs begins to build a sleigh for Jim. After it is fully tested, Jim sets out to give Antonia and her sister a ride. The girls dress is unprepared for the cold weather, while Jim gives offers some of his heavy clothing to them keep warm. As a result, he himself is exposed to the cold, and ends up in bed for two weeks with an infection (a severe tonsil disease). Mrs. Burden brings a gift a rooster and foodstuffs to the Shimerdas. As they approach the Shimerda farm, Jim spots Antonia pumping water, but she sees him and flees back to the house. When Mrs. Shimerda welcomes the Burdens' she is in tears. The Shimerdas have very little food stored up for the winter months and much of what they do have is garbage. Then Jake brings in the gift basket of food, Mrs. Shimerda only cries louder! Mr. Shimerda explains that they were not street people in Bohemia, but that some unexpected turns and bad judgment have left them almost no money. While Mrs. Burden reassures the Shimerdas, Jim plays with Yulka's little kitten. As the Burdens rise to leave, Mrs. Shimerda gives a small gift basket of food to Mrs. Burden. On the ride home, Jake and Mrs. Burden discuss the Shimerdas' dilemma. Later while making supper, Mrs. Burden discards the gift basket of food. Though he is not sure what the food is, Jim breaks off a small piece anyway and begins to nibble on it.