My Antonia

How did Jim killing the rattle snake change him in Antonia's eyes? What is ironic about the snake?

The shimerdas book 1 of my Antonia

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One day Jim takes Ántonia on his pony so that she can borrow a spade from Russian Peter. Afterwards, they go look at the ten-acre large prairie dog town. Suddenly, Ántonia screams in Bohemian and points at a huge, coiling snake as big as Jim's leg. Jim rushes up to it and digs into its neck with the spade, while it coils furiously around his feet.

After he kills it, Jim feels sick and is irritable. Ántonia comforts him and tells him how brave he is. They look at the snake, who is five and a half feet long and twenty-four years old. Jim drags the snake behind him on the way home and feels proud of having killed it. Otto Fuchs tells Jim that he is lucky to have killed the snake so easily, and Ántonia tells how brave Jim was. Afterwards, Jim realizes how lucky he was to have had a weapon available and how lazy and old the snake probably was at the time. Nevertheless, Ántonia treats him with more respect from then on.

Source(s): http://www.gradesaver.com/my-antonia/study-guide/section2/