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My Ántonia

My Ántonia

by Willa Cather

My Ántonia Book 3, Chapter 3 Summary

  • In Lincoln the best season for plays is in the late Spring.
  • Jim and Lena go to see a lot of shows together. Lena always insists on paying for her own seat. She pays more attention than Jim does to the costumes.
  • One night they go to see "Camille" together. They go early because Lena likes to watch the people coming in. Neither of them knows the play ahead of time, but they are awed by what they see.
  • Jim thinks the dialogue is great. He sees a champagne bottle opened for the first time. The props on stage amaze him. Also the women are stunning.
  • The actress playing Marguerite seems to be too old, and the character Armand is too young for her.
  • Between the acts they enjoy listening to the music played by the orchestra. After the second act Jim goes into the lobby alone to smoke. He is happy that he came with Lena and not some silly girl.
  • In another scene Lena cries while Jim feels touched.
  • Jim criticizes the leading actress. Her voice is too heavy and deep. Still, he thinks no one could ruin this play.
  • In a later scene Lena is terrified on account of the great acting and cowers closer to Jim.
  • During a bedroom scene, Jim cries himself.
  • When they leave the theatre, it is raining. Jim shelters them under the umbrella he got as a graduation present. Jim walks her home and meanders on back to his own room, thinking about the performance.
  • Narrator-Jim says that, since then, whenever he sees that play, he feels like it is April.

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