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My Ántonia

My Ántonia

by Willa Cather

Suffering Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

[Ántonia] put her arms under her head and lay back, looking up at the sky. `If I live here, like you, that is different. Things will be easy for you. But they will be hard for us.' (1.19.last paragraph)

Ántonia has a real understanding of what separates her from Jim – indeed, more than even Jim does. This is also an explanation of why she acts the way she does when she's on the farm. Perhaps if Ántonia hadn't moved to town, she would have grown mean like Ambrosch.

Quote #8

[Ántonia:] "I tried to make signs to Ole, `cause I thought that man was crazy and might get the machine stopped up. But Ole, he was glad to get down out of the sun and chaff-- it gets down your neck and sticks to you something awful when it's hot like that. So Ole jumped down and crawled under one of the wagons for shade, and the tramp got on the machine. He cut bands all right for a few minutes, and then, Mrs. Harling, he waved his hand to me and jumped head-first right into the threshing machine after the wheat." (2.6.14)

There are a few violent stories like this throughout My Ántonia. They show the reader how commonplace these horrific events were in the lives of the pioneers.

Quote #9

`Now, wasn't that strange, Miss Frances?` Tony asked thoughtfully. `What would anybody want to kill themselves in summer for? In threshing time, too! It's nice everywhere then.` (2.6.22)

Because of her difficult life, Ántonia has attained an indifference toward suffering. She isn't horrified by the story of the man who committed suicide; instead, she asks a practical question.

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