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My Ántonia

My Ántonia

by Willa Cather

My Ántonia Book 4, Chapter 1 Summary

  • Two years later Jim graduates from Harvard and is ready to start law school there. He comes home for the summer vacation.
  • The night he gets back some of the Harlings come over to see him. Afterwards he walks them home and Frances she tells him about Ántonia.
  • Jim already knows some of the story because his grandmother wrote him while he was away at school. It turns out that Ántonia went away to marry Larry Donovan and that he deserted her and now she has his baby and is a single mom. She lives at home with Ambrosch.
  • Jim is disappointed in Ántonia. He notes that everyone pities her now while everyone respects Lena.
  • We learn that Tiny ended up conducting a lodging-house in Seattle. Jim reflects that he never knew her that well, and that she was always a little intimidating. It turns out that after she set up her lodging house in Seattle she ended up going to Alaska in a gold rush. She ran a hotel up there and made a ton of money from the prospecting men who needed a place to stay.
  • Once she nursed a Swede who ended up dying. He deeded Tiny his claim on a piece of land.
  • Tiny ended up buying other claims from other men and making a lot of money. She came to live in San Francisco. Jim met her in 1908 in Salt Lake City. She reminded him of Mrs. Gardener.
  • It turned out that by this time Lena was living with her in San Francisco and still making dresses. Tiny limped a bit on account of an injury but was doing fine.

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