My Antonia

My Antonia Study Guide (Anybody who would be kind enough to answer this would save my life!)

She was one of the country girls but she ended up rich.

He had been a skilled craftsman in the old country, but he was unhappy in the new country.

She was a friend of Ántonia while Ántonia was planning to marry; she lived in the Burden’s old house.

Because she was worried about Ántonia, she arranged for her to go to work for Mrs. Harling.

He married Ántonia, and they had ten or eleven children.

He first saw Ántonia when he was riding on a train car to Black Hawk.

She tried to insist that Yulka give the sign of the cross over her father.

He made money by lending money to poor farmers, then foreclosed on their farm when they were unable to pay.

He was Jim’s teacher in Lincoln; he had become ill while exploring Italy.

He told Jim a terrible story of being chased by wolves when he lived in Russia just before he died.

He was a railroad conductor who liked to take Ántonia to the dance at the Fireman’s Hall.

He got into a fight with Jake Marpole over a horse collar.

He was born in Austria and had a huge scar on his face.

She was the only one in her family who knew how to speak English when they first moved to Black Hawk.

She learned the trade of dressmaking from Mrs. Thomas in Black Hawk.

Make certain you can complete the following:

1. The phrase, “Optima dies, primus fugit,” which begins the book and is repeated later means _____________________


2. The first winter that the Shimerdas lived in Nebraska they were so poor that they ended up eating


3. When Jake got into a fight with Ambrosch, Ántonia told Jimmy that ________________________________________


4. The Burdens decided to move to town because _______________________________________________________.

5. Lena Lingard had a bad reputation in the country because _________________________________ had showed too much interest in her and she did not discourage him.

6. When Jim went to see Ántonia in Book IV, he finally told her ____________________________________________


III. Multiple choice: ALL of these will be on the test!!

_____ 1. Which of the following statements are not true when Jim Burden came west?

Jake Marpole, a hired hand, bought Jim a book, Life of Jesse James.

The conductor on the train became friendly with Jimmy and Jake.

Jim cried because he was so sad to leave his home in Virginia.

Jim saw Ántonia and the Shimerdas for the first time.

Jim and Jake were still greenhorns in the West.

_____ 2. When Jim Burden said, “There was nothing but land: not a country at all, but the material out of which countries

are made,” he meant:

that the land around Black Hawk was largely undeveloped.

that the land did not really become a land until the farmers had worked it.

That there were no trees or houses to show that people lived there.

A, C E. A, B, C

_____ 3. When the Burdens first visited the Shimerdas:

Otto drove them and told them how the Shimerdas had been cheated by Peter Krajiek.

the Shimerdas were very proud and refused any of the gifts the Burdens had brought.

Mr. Shimerda impressed Jimmy as being a person who was better than the dirty place he was living in.

A, B, C E. A, C

_____ 4. Which of the following is not a true statement about Ántonia’s family?

Yulka was her youngest sister.

The family lived in a dugout, a hole in the ground with a roof.

Marek always argued with his brother, Ambrosch.

Mrs. Shimerda seemed angry that Mrs. Burden had not brought her food earlier.

Mr. Shimerda asked Mrs. Burden to teach Ántonia to read.

_____ 5. Which of the following are descriptions of a symbol used in the book?

The earth owls are similar to the Shimerdas because they live in the ground with their enemies, the rattlesnakes.

Ántonia finds a small insect when she and Jimmy were lying on the grass which is similar to her father who also is in a cold place he does not belong.

The fun and freedom of the dances at the Fireman’s Hall represent the lost childhood of Ántonia.

A, B E. A, B, C

_____ 6. Which of the following best describes the effect that the story of the wolves had on Pavel’s and Peter’s lives?

They were bitten so severely by the wolves that they spent months recovering.

They were rejected by the people of their village in Russia and moved to the United States as a result.

Pavel got rabies from a wolf bite and eventually died of it.

Peter blamed Pavel for what had happened, and they were never friends again.

Mr. Shimerda was disgusted with Pavel and Peter and refused to be friends with them again.

_____ 7. After Mr. Shimerda died:

A. Àntonia took care of her sick brother Marek.

B. Ambrosch put Ántonia to work as a laborer for neighboring farmers even though she was only sixteen.

C. Because she was working like a man, Ántonia began to develop muscles like a man.

D. A, B, C E. B, C

_____ 8 When Blind D’Arnault stayed at the Boy’s Home hotel:

Tiny Soderball worked in the hotel for Mrs. Gardener.

Jim came to visit with Lena and Tony.

the men convinced the country girls to dance while the blind man played the piano.

A, B, C E. A, C

_____ 9. Jim walked Ántonia home from the dance at the Fireman’s Hall:

because Larry Donovan was out of town.

and he tried to kiss Ántonia.

and Ántonia became angry and slapped him.

A, B E. A, B, C

_____ 10. On the day of Jim’s commencement:

A. Frances told him that Mrs. Harling could not understand why Jim liked being with Ántonia and the country girls

more than with “girls of your own set.”

B. Both Ántonia and Jim’s grandfather were impressed with his commencement oration.

C. Jim told Ántonia that he had secretly dedicated the speech to Mr. Shimerda.

D. A, B, C E. A, C

_____ 11. Which of the following is not a description of the day that Jim spent swimming?

A. Jim and Ántonia talked about her father’s spirit.

B. Lena said that her boss told her that she could start her own business soon.

C. Ántonia announced that she was going to return to work at the Harlings’ as soon as she paid back the money

she owed Wick Cutter.

D. Jim told a story of how a Spanish stirrup and sword had been found in a Nebraska field by a farmer.

E. Jim and the country girls watched the setting sun with the black image of a plow on it.

_____ 12. The image of the setting sun with a plow in front of it at the end of Book III is important because:

Jim is about to leave for the University, and it symbolizes the end of his country life.

Lena is planning to start a dress shop on her own, and she is leaving Black Hawk too.

This is the last time that Ántonia will be in the country, as her life is about to take her in a different direction.

A, B, C E. A, B

_____ 13. Which of the following statements about Lena Lingard are true?

She was trampy, as shown by the fact that she slept with Ole Benson.

She had a sense of style and as a result was successful as a dressmaker.

She liked to be flirtacious, but did not really want to get married.

A, B, C E. B, C

_____ 14. When Ántonia moved to Denver:

she was supposed to get married to Larry Donovan.

Ambrosch refused to give her any help so she went only with the money she was able to save.

Larry Donovan lived on Ántonia’s money and then deserted her.

A, C E. A, B, C

_____ 15. That Ántonia would be deserted by Larry Donovan is foreshadowed by all of the following statements except:

Donovan had a reputation for being a ladies man.

Lena and Jim, among others, had a bad feeling about Donovan.

Ántonia had told Jim that she did not trust Donovan completely.

Ántonia seemed to care so much about Donovan that she did not have any judgement on his character.

Nobody in Ántonia’s seemed to care enough about her to protect her from a person like Donovan.

_____ 16. Jim had waited twenty years to visit Ántonia again:

A. because he was worried that Ántonia would be a worn-out and old woman.

B. because Jim had been told by Ántonia not to visit.

C. yet Ántonia welcomed him warmly and had always remembered him to her children.

D. A, C E. A, B, C

V. Short answer essay

Answer the following questions in the space provided. Be sure to answer all parts of every question completely!!

1. According to the introduction to the book, what was the change to the name of the manuscript that Jim Burden gave to his friend? What is the significance of the change? (50 pts)

2. What happened in Book I to change Ántonia’s mind about Jimmy being a little boy? Why was she so impressed with what he did? (50 pts.)

3. Where did Ambrosch and Mrs. Shimerda want to bury Mr. Shimerda? Why? (50 pts.)

4. What happened when Ántonia asked Jim to spend the night at Wick Cutter’s house? Why was this significant to the story? Explain. (75 pts)

5. “’Primus ego in patriam mecum . . . deducam Musas’; ‘for I shall be the first, if I live, to bring the Muse into my country.” How can this quote from Book III of My Ántonia be said to represent a key theme of the book? What is the theme? How does this represent it? (75 pts)

6. What was Ántonia’s attitude toward the child she bore? Give an example of this attitude. Why was this attitude significant? Explain. 75 pts.

7. What is significant about this quote from Jim Burden in Book IV? ( 75 pts.)

“ . . . I think of you more often than of anyone else in this part of the world. I’d have liked to have you for a

sweetheart, or a wife, or my mother or my sister – anything that a woman can be for a man.”

8. What indication is there that Martha, Ántonia’s oldest child, is going to have the success in life that has eluded Ántonia? Give specific examples/ quotes from the book to support your statements. (75 pts.)

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Last updated by jill d #170087
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Sorry, this is a short answer question and answer forum. You're going to have to break these down. Please don't place more than two per question box. In answer to your first question in the second part, “Optima dies, primus fugit means "Our best days are the first to leave us".


My Antonia