My Antonia

The Best Girls

After Jim moves to town with his grandparents, he begins school with other children of his age, yet is never interested in their antics or infatuations. His relationship with the Harling children next door, demonstrates the conventional mode of childhood affection and friendship, but as Jim grows older, his only admiration rests upon the immigrant girls and their "wild" ways. In Willa Cather's My Ã?ntonia, descriptions and details are heaped upon the girls from afar rather than the young girls who were expected to fit into Jim's social set. Cather demonstrates Jim's fascination with women such as Tiny Soderball, Lena Lingard and Ã?ntonia Shimerda, through rampant description whereas Jim's interest in other women of his age and class, is stymied. Though Jim never consummates a relationship with anyone in the novel, the closest he gets to an overt love interest is with the stunning and self-made Lena Lingard.

Jim notices the attraction of the girls from the farmlands as he compares them with their younger sisters or the women from town. He finds some attraction in the fact that these girls had to struggle to survive and had to undergo the transition from one country to another. "I can remember...

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