My Antonia: The Early-American Working Woman’s Reprimand College
Despite the trajectories and implications Jim Burden may have imposed upon the female characters of My Antonia, each of the “hired girls” winds up successful by their own means, simultaneously demonstrating and defying the stereotypical roles of women during the late 19th century and ultimately cementing My Antonia as a critical work in Early-American feminist literature. Willa Cather, accredited American author famous for her depictions of pioneer life, rather brilliantly created a frame for the women of My Antonia by juxtaposing their lives with the critical narration voiced by Jim Burden while simultaneously showcasing her eloquent writing in this küntslerroman that has withstood the test of time. In analyzing aspects of Willa Cather’s personal life, Jim Burden’s hypercritical narration, and the outcomes of said female characters, it becomes quite clear that the portrayed women of My Antonia are feminist heroines rather than defiant subordinates as Jim may have once thought of them.
Upon reading through the first books of My Antonia, the female characters are tainted by a negative commonality in the way Jim undermines his affection for them with denigration, seeming at first as though Cather’s regards for women are...
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