| Quote #7
We all liked Tony's stories. Her voice had a peculiarly engaging quality; it was deep, a little husky, and one always heard the breath vibrating behind it. Everything she said seemed to come right out of her heart. (2.6.6)
Jim's feelings for Ántonia are revealed in the oddest of places. In the details of his descriptions of her life hints of a deeper emotion.
| Quote #8
She looked bold and resourceful and unscrupulous, and she was all of these. They were handsome girls, had the fresh colour of their country upbringing, and in their eyes that brilliancy which is called-- by no metaphor, alas!--`the light of youth.` (2.7.30)
Jim recognizes that much of the vigor and appeal of Ántonia lies in the fact that she is young. How is it, then, that his feelings for her remain strong as she grows older?
| Quote #9
Lena had brought them all back to me. It came over me, as it had never done before, the relation between girls like those and the poetry of Virgil. If there were no girls like them in the world, there would be no poetry. I understood that clearly, for the first time. This revelation seemed to me inestimably precious. I clung to it as if it might suddenly vanish. (3.2.31)
It's easy to characterize Jim's feelings for Ántonia as purely chaste and his feelings for Lena are purely sexual – but this is clearly not the case. Jim's feelings for Lena run deep indeed, and often seem more romantic than sexual.