My Antonia

was mrs.shimerda a good mother?

talk about her from the book

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First we would have to agree on what exactly a good mother is. Frequently we hear words like sensitive, nurturing and self-sacrifice. In this context it is difficult to call Mrs. Shimerda a "good" mother.Mrs. Shimerda is the driving force to relocate the family to America. They did not have a bad life in Bohemiahe but she wanted better for her son Ambrosh,

"All the time she say: 'America big country; much money, much land for my boys, much husband for my girls'. My papa, he cry for leave his old friends...but my mama, she want Ambrosch for be rich with many cattle" (Book 1, Chapter 13).

Mrs. Shimerda is very rude and beligerent. She is harsh and gets her way about most things. One can even argue her husband's self destruction is really because of mission to move to America at any cost. In America they do not fare well, especially after Mr. Shimerda's suicide. They live in a hovel and mother takes the only bed. So, does this make her a bad mother? I'm not inclined to go that far. She has tenacity to succeed, as many immigrants do. She wants something better for her family and takes the risk of re-locating. Even though she is self centered, her family seems to be her main concern. So, I would say that Mrs. Shimerda is simply a woman who wants more for herself and her family. Her personality comes with many unfavourable traits but this is the stuff of human nature. She is relentless and obsessed with money but perhaps she needs a little of this just to survive.