My Antonia

The Best Days are the First to Flee 9th Grade

The novel My Antonia by Willa Cather is based on the pastoral life of Antonia Shimerda, accompanied by Jim Burden and their long lasting friendship. At the beginning of the novel, there is an epigraph saying “ The best days are the first to flee.” This proves to be a moment of foreshadowing because throughout the novel Jim seems to live through his childhood memories with Antonia, rather than simply acknowledging and appreciating them. As a result of this, Jim’s best days hold him back from forming normal relationships with others thus resulting in him constantly living in past instances.

Jim’s happy vivid childhood memories evoke in him a reminiscent feeling, that he is unable to let go of, therefore allowing him to live through his past, rather than branch out to the present. Even in the beginning of the novel, Jim expresses his fondness for Antonia. Jim begins the novel by saying “ More than any other person we remembered, this girl seemed to mean to us the country, the conditions, the whole adventure of our childhood” (Cather 2). This allows the reader to begin the novel with some insight into Jim and Antonia’s relationship and how much she truly means to him. Another noteworthy example is in book four, when Jim returns...

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