| Quote #7
As I went back alone over that familiar road, I could almost believe that a boy and girl ran along beside me, as our shadows used to do, laughing and whispering to each other in the grass. (4.4.7)
Jim's decision to visit Ántonia isn't just about checking up on an old friend – it's part of the process of recovering the past. That's why he attributes such importance to it and is scared to do it for twenty years.
| Quote #8
I did not want to find her aged and broken; I really dreaded it. In the course of twenty crowded years one parts with many illusions. I did not wish to lose the early ones. Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again. (5.1.1)
What do you think made Jim choose to face his fears and return to see Ántonia again?
| Quote #9
The boy was so restless that I had not had a chance to look at his face before. My first impression was right; he really was faun-like. He hadn't much head behind his ears, and his tawny fleece grew down thick to the back of his neck. His eyes were not frank and wide apart like those of the other boys, but were deep-set, gold-green in colour, and seemed sensitive to the light. (5.1.87)
Jim's past vision of Ántonia is alive and kicking in the form of her son. He embodies the same spiritual closeness to nature that Ántonia once did in Jim's eyes.