How we cite our quotes:
If she was proud of me, I was so proud of her that I carried my head high as I emerged from the dark cedars and shut the Cutters` gate softly behind me. Her warm, sweet face, her kind arms, and the true heart in her; she was, oh, she was still my Ántonia! (2.12.37)
What does Jim mean when he uses the phrase "my Ántonia"? Is it a sense of possession he feels? Or something different altogether?
"Mercy, it's hot!" Lena yawned. She was supine under a little oak, resting after the fury of her elder-hunting, and had taken off the high-heeled slippers she had been silly enough to wear. "Come here, Jim. You never got the sand out of your hair." She began to draw her fingers slowly through my hair.
Ántonia pushed her away. "You'll never get it out like that," she said sharply. (2.14.27)
It looks like Ántonia is a bit jealous. This is one of several instances where we see Ántonia forcefully separate Lena and Jim. Is she just looking out for Jim's best interests, or does she want him for herself?
Whenever we rode over in that direction we saw [Lena] out among her cattle, bareheaded and barefooted, scantily dressed in tattered clothing, always knitting as she watched her herd. Before I knew Lena, I thought of her as something wild, that always lived on the prairie, because I had never seen her under a roof. Her yellow hair was burned to a ruddy thatch on her head; but her legs and arms, curiously enough, in spite of constant exposure to the sun, kept a miraculous whiteness which somehow made her seem more undressed than other girls who went scantily lad. The first time I stopped to talk to her, I was astonished at her soft voice and easy, gentle ways. (2.4.38)
It's interesting that Lena and Ántonia both had similar childhoods, but Lena's sexuality and femininity is so much more pronounced than Ántonia's. Jim's reaction to these two girls is, subsequently, different.