My Antonia

Examining Jim's Emotions 11th Grade

Throughout the novel My Ántonia by Willa Cather Jim is very emotionally absent. He does not have an easy life by any stretch of the imagination, yet his hardships are not evident in his speech or actions. They are not the driving force that molds Jim into the man he is at the end of the novel. In fact, if Jim does not mention his struggles briefly in the novel, it would be possible for the reader to miss them completely. Jim has an extremely optimistic outlook on life. He sees the world through rose painted lenses and is oblivious the hardship and heartbreak that the people closest to him feel, namely Ántonia.

Jim is no stranger to heartache and is introduced to the novel shortly after the tragic death of both of his parents. Most children feel inexpressible sadness after losing the two people closest to them, but Jim is unfazed. He is eager to put his past behind him and start a new life with his grandparents in Nebraska. Jim does not even cling to the memory and spirit of his parents. On his way to Nebraska Jim says “I did not believe that my dead father and mother were watching me from up there; I had left even their spirits behind me.” (Cather, Page 8). This is last time Jim mentions his parents or their death in the...

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