My Antonia

The Significance of Nature in the Nick Adams Stories and My Antonia College

Nature is a vital and powerful component of life. It has the power to provide, as well as the power to take away. Human life depends upon it, but can also be destroyed by it. We are forced to interact with it in numerous ways, but at the same time have very little control over it. Both Nick Adams as well as the characters in My Antonia display some the benefits interacting with the land can have if one is able to connect to it, as well as how it can destroy someone if they are unable to connect to it.

In My Antonia, the prairie and its gifts have the power to create life as well as take it away. Jim and Antonia’s friendship forms over their love of the prairie. And as a whole, the prairie provides the Shimerda family with a new start. But at the same time, it is the hardships of life on the prairie that end lives as well. The most prominent example of this is Mr. Shimerda’s suicide. There are several instances prior to his death in which one can infer that this new life

was very hard for Mr. Shimerda. For example, when Jim and Antonia encounter Mr. Shimerda after he has killed three rabbits, he seems sad. Antonia tells Jim, “My papa sick all the time . . .

He not look good, Jim.” Jim later discloses that Antonia was “the only...

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