My Antonia

Why do you think Cather included the story of the tramp at the Iverson's harvest?

This answer can be found in book 2 of My Antonia

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Ántonia tells a story about a day at work when she was throwing hay into a bin. A tramp came over and offered to help out. After working for awhile, he waved at Ántonia and then jumped headfirst into the bin, which chopped him up. Frances remembers the story also and how the only thing found on the tramp was a poem. I can only speculate through the theme of the chapter. Winters are long and cold, a punishment for the summer. What is interesting to Jim and the others isn't that the tramp killed himself but that he killed himself during such a pleasant time of the year (late summer). Was he perhaps dreading the fall and winter? The story seems to reflect the weather more than the person.