My Ántonia Gender Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
'That very night, it happened. She got her cattle home, turned them into the corral, and went into the house, into her room behind the kitchen, and shut the door. There, without calling to anybody, without a groan, she lay down on the bed and bore her child. (4.3.26)
Even in the midst of the most feminine of all possible actions, Ántonia maintains her masculine strength and calm. Cather shows that it's possible to be a woman – in every sense of the word – without clinging to "feminine" traits.
"I'd have liked to have you for a sweetheart, or a wife, or my mother or my sister – anything that a woman can be to a man. The idea of you is a part of my mind. You influence my likes and dislikes, all my tastes, hundreds of times when I don't realize it. You really are a part of me" (4.4.7).
Ántonia seems to embody all things feminine for Jim – with no specific sexual or romantic component.