My Antonia

Naturalist Literary Elements in 'My Antonia': Viewing Human Essence Through Experiences 11th Grade

The idea of developing from your experiences is an idea applied to the methods of writing as well as everyday life in the present day. Such a method is mostly applied to Naturalist works. The goal of Naturalist literature was solely to develop and eventually reveal the attributes of the novel’s characters’ personality. This effective method can be used to identify various personalities due to the wide variety of events and feelings that could be experienced. This type of writing is applied to Willa Cather’s My Antonia. Overall, there are three prevalent experiences that broadly shape and identify the nature of the characters and their personalities. The elements of the social position, inevitable tragedy, and determination, all visible in the lives of the characters in Willa Cather’s My Antonia, are Naturalist elements that help develop insight into the human nature of the characters.

The element of social position is prevalently present in the nature of the immigrant characters in ways that show both the ethical and unethical reactions to their acknowledgment of their social position. In the case of Mr. and Mrs. Shimerda, their low social position makes them cherish factors like self-respect, pride, and social reputation even...

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