My Antonia

How does Lena affect Jim?

Book III of Iv

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Lena gets Jim to offer to take her to the theater sometime, and she tells him that she has to write a letter to Ántonia all about what he's doing. She whispers suggestively into his ear about his maybe being lonely and then leaves. Jim is happy after she goes because she reminds him of all the hired girls. He realizes that poetry like Virgil's would never exist unless there were girls like Lena. As he sits down to read, the sexual dream about Lena seems like an actual memory, and a line of poetry, translated "The best days are the first to flee," acquires special meaning.