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My Ántonia

My Ántonia

by Willa Cather

Passivity Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

That snake hung on our corral fence for several days; some of the neighbours came to see it and agreed that it was the biggest rattler ever killed in those parts. This was enough for Ántonia. She liked me better from that time on, and she never took a supercilious air with me again. I had killed a big snake -- I was now a big fellow. (1.7.9)

This is the only place in the novel where Jim steps up to fill stereotypically masculine shoes – and it is the moment where Ántonia begins to admire him. Does this mean that Ántonia wants Jim to be more typically "masculine"? How can she expect these things from him when she herself is not typically "feminine"?

Quote #5

I told her I didn't know what they believed, and didn't care, and that I certainly wasn't going to be a preacher. (2.12.8)

We see that, as he grows up, Jim begins to move away from the sphere of influence exerted by his grandparents. To some degree, he is learning to think for himself.

Quote #6

I got hold of his thumb and bent it back, until he let go with a yell. In a bound, I was on my feet, and easily sent him sprawling to the floor. Then I made a dive for the open window, struck the wire screen, knocked it out, and tumbled after it in the yard. (2.15.10)

Think of this as an adult version of the snake incident from Jim's childhood – except this time he runs away instead of fighting. Why?

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