My Antonia Essay: Independence And Belonging

676 words - 3 pages

Independence and Belonging in My Antonia  

In My Antonia there are two types of women, those who want to have a man and those who don¹t. The key word is want, at no point does a woman need a man in the entire course of the novel. From the Hired Girls to Tiny Soderball and Lena Lingard women are capable of self sufficiency and happiness. The majority of the truly contented people are either alone or living without the opposite sex. Antonia and Cuzak are the only example of a ³normal² happy couple, all others have some problems that prevent a normal relationship.

In the Hired Girls Antonia and Lena are depicted as strong, independent women who work to support themselves and their families and enjoying themselves as they see fit. ³...Country girls who had come to town to earn a living, and in nearly every case, to help the father struggle out of debt, or to make it possible for the younger children of the family to go to school.²(My Antonia, Willa Cather. p.172) In this case it is the father who needs the daughter as opposed to the more traditional ³faces in the schoolroom, gay and rosy, or listless and dull, cut off below the shoulders² (My Antonia, Willa Cather, p173) The hired girls are seen as strong in both a physical and mental sense when compared to their wallflower counterparts who simply live the life expected of them by society. The hired girls are the draft horses, the people who accomplish things, of female society in Black Hawk, while the daughters of the merchants are the show horses, wanted only as long as they¹re pretty.

The ultimate examples of non-dependance on males in the book are Lena Lingard and Tiny Soderball. Lena Lingard is a successful dressmaker who has no desire for the standard womanly duties of childbearing and housekeeping. Œ³Well, it¹s mainly because I don¹t want a husband. Men are all right for friends, bu as soon as you marry them...

Find Another Essay On My Antonia Essay: Independence and Belonging

My Antonia Essay: Importance of Setting

560 words - 2 pages The Importance of Setting in My Antonia          The setting of the story has tremendous impact on the characters and themes in the novel "My Antonia" by Willa Cather. Cather's delicately crafted naturalistic style is evident not only in her colorfully detailed depictions of the Nebraska frontier, but also in her characters’ relationship with the land on which they live. The common naturalist theme of

My Antonia Essay: Role of Women

1558 words - 6 pages Role of  Women in My Antonia  The role of the women in My Antonia as the showcased laborers and workers in the new community does not, certainly, alleviate the questions of patriarchal influence offered in the discussions of gender. Certainly, the fact that Ántonia is deprived of the education she longs for and yet cannot have, because it is she who is responsible for her family's success--"'School is all right for little boys. I help

"My Antonia" by Willa Cather and the American Dream. Assignment was to write an essay about the American Dream that uses "My Antonia" as an example

668 words - 3 pages started out the same - poor and uneducated - but eventually they lived their ambitions - a wonderful family for Antonia, a feeling of independence for Lena, and massive fortunes for Tiny. Willa Cather's My Antonia proves that America is truly the "Land of Opportunity" and achieving success in America is possible regardless of one's naturalization state.

My Antonia Essay: Contrasts between the Hired Girls and the Black Hawk Women

1043 words - 4 pages Contrasts between the "Hired Girls" and the Black Hawk Women in My Antonia    Willa Cather draws a stark contrast between the respectable women of Black Hawk and the “hired girls” in books II and III of My Antonia through Jim’s unavoidable attachment to them.  The “hired girls” are all immigrants who work in Black Hawk as servants to help support their families in the country.  They are hardworking and charming.  They are simple and

An essay book review of My Antonia, by Willa Cather

782 words - 3 pages My AntoniaIn the beginning of this novel we meet a successful railroad lawyer named Jim Burden. He is writing a memoir of his friend Antonia. Jim finds that a childhood friend of his, Antonia Shimerda (Tony) represents the whole adventure of his childhood. The novel then goes on to tell how he met Tony, when they became neighbors living with his grandparents on their Nebraska Farm. In their early childhood together that had great adventures

My Antonia Essay: The Character of Lena Lingard

1827 words - 7 pages The Character of Lena Lingard in My Antonia            Lena Lingard is the best example of a non-domestic central character which appears amidst the domesticity of My Ántonia. Often the sections which feature Lena instead of Ántonia are seen as confusing divergences from the plot line of a novel that purports to be about the woman named in the title. However, since Lena appears in the novel almost as often as Ántonia, and more often than

Innocence in Daisy Miller, My Antonia, and the Great Gatsby

2135 words - 9 pages Innocence in Daisy Miller by Henry James, My Antonia by Willa Cather and the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is not as easy as it seems to distinguish who is innocent and who is not. Innocence is a cultural concept which is usually confusing. An act that is naïve and normal in one society can be a public disgrace in another. Then a question comes to mind: What is innocence? Challenging the norms of a society makes a person totally

Belonging Speech/Essay on movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding

720 words - 3 pages Belonging Essay/SpeechHSC English SpeechBelonging… Belonging… Belonging.It is the thing that enables us to radiate our true identity and let our light shine. Sometimes it is through cultural acceptance that we are offered this safe haven; the sense of belonging…But, what if it is this culture that barricades and imprisons us? A perfect display of such themes and ideas of belonging are portrayed in the film My Big Fat Greek

A critical book review of "My Antonia". discusses symbolism, characterization, and an analysis of the themes

2089 words - 8 pages My Antonia_______________Willa CatherHoughton Mifflin CompanyBoston, MassachusettsCopyright 1918 by, Willa S. CatherForeword by: Doris Grumbach238 pagesFront-of-cover design by: Wendell MinorUSD $5.95ISBN: 0-395-08356-7Hailed as, "One of Americas finest pieces of literature" I would have to agree with that.My Antonia was a colorful book full of exploration, times of life and laughter, and times of heartbreak and sorrow.In My Antonia , Cather

Comparing the Theme of Sacrifice in My Antonia and The Song of the Lark

2758 words - 11 pages Theme of Sacrifice in My Antonia and The Song of the Lark         A common trait for Willa Cather's characters is that they possess a certain talent or skill. This art usually controls the lives of these characters. According to critic Maxell Geismar, Cather's heroines who possess a skill often either do not marry or marry men whom they dominate; if they do marry the marriage is without excitement because their passion is invested in

A Comparison of Death in The Scarlet Letter and My Antonia

2497 words - 10 pages Importance of Death in The Scarlet Letter and My Antonia     It is universally acknowledged that one who comes into this world must also leave. Just like everything else, even life and death is a binary composition. You cannot have one without the other. Although not many people like to think about it, death is a very important factor not only in life, but also in literature. Most often, death is portrayed as evil or

Similar Essays

My Antonia Essay: The Spirit Of Antonia

1269 words - 5 pages 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

My Antonia Essay: Psychoanalytic Criticism

1950 words - 8 pages Psychoanalytic Criticism of My Antonia             Abstract: This essay uses psychoanalysis as the strategy of interpretation to read Willa Cather's My Antonia.  Freud's well-known theory--the Oedipus complex--and Lacan's theory of the Mirror Stage are used as the modes of approaching the novel.   I use psychoanalytic criticism as a means of interpreting Willa Cather's My Antonia because I find some similarities between My

My Antonia Essay: The Role Of Men In My Antonia

823 words - 3 pages   The Role of Men in My Antonia        Gloria Steinem once wrote that "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." Clearly she is attempting to assert women's independence and further the liberation movement. However, her analogy is not quite complete. A bicycle has absolutely no place in a fish's life, but whether she needs him or not, men are very much present in a women's life. While a women

My Antonia Essay An American Tale

747 words - 3 pages My Antonia – An American Tale At the beginning of this century, ships docked in American ports with their steerages filled with European immigrants.  Willa Cather’s My Antonia, contains characters that immigrate to the country of America in search of hope and a new future in the Midwest prarie.  This novel can be considered an American tale because it holds the American concept of the “melting pot,” the ideal of America as