My Antonia

What significance does the visit have for Jim?

My Antonia

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In this chapter Jim sees Ántonia in her ultimate incarnation as an earth mother, the bringer of new life. Everywhere life surrounds her: in her innumerable children, in the plethora of fruits and trees surrounding the house, in the myriad of farm animals running around, and in the playful interactions of her and her children. Expecting to see a tired, worn-out woman, Jim is surprised at how energetic and full of life Ántonia is among her brood of children.

As Jim realizes as he falls asleep, Ántonia captures universal human attitudes in herself and brings them out in other people: she is Woman, and though she may not be the most financially successful person, she is the richest in life and love. After pitying Ántonia for so long for not making more of herself, he realizes that she has achieved her ultimate destiny and is repaying the land, which nurtured her in her youth, with new life, her own innumerable offspring. Jim realizes that Ántonia has achieved a success much more lasting than Tiny's or Lena's.