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My Ántonia

My Ántonia


by Willa Cather

Analysis: Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Christopher Booker is a scholar who wrote that every story falls into one of seven basic plot structures: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Shmoop explores which of these structures fits this story like Cinderella’s slipper.

Plot Type : None

Many scholars identify My Ántonia as a modernist novel, which, among other things, means that it defies typical plot structures. To start, think about the way that this novel is structured. My Ántonia is more like a series of episodes or anecdotes than a continuous narrative. There's no big central, plot-based conflict. Rather, there are thematic conflicts (like the barriers immigrants face in the West, or Jim's passivity when it comes to Ántonia). Because of this, we can't identify a particular moment in the novel that serves as a climax, or a conflict, or a suspense stage. Instead, it's more useful to think about how Cather uses a unique, non-traditional structuring to tell her story.

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