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My Ántonia Themes
Little Words, Big Ideas
Man and the Natural World
The natural landscape and the weather both play a large part in setting the atmosphere and depicting the actions and mindsets of the characters in My Ántonia. Because the characters we meet ar...
Memory and the Past
My Ántonia takes the form of a fictional memoir, told by adult Jim Burden looking back on his youth in the American West around the turn of the 19th century. In this case, the form (memoir) is...
Foreignness and 'The Other'
Many of the characters in My Ántonia are immigrants who have come to the American West from their home countries to make a living farming. They come from several different counties, including...
My Ántonia subverts traditional gender roles, both for women and for men. Set around the turn of the century in the American West, the novel surprisingly features women as its strongest charac...
Society and Class
My Ántonia explores social issues in a small town in Nebraska around 1900. The central social conflict arises in the form of racist attitudes toward the immigrants who make up a large percent...
Visions of America
My Ántonia can be considered a novel of historical fiction (see "Genre") in that it paints a portrait of the culture of a specific time and place: the American West around the turn of the 19th...
Love is a tricky business in My Ántonia, as it's never exactly clear just what the novel's narrator (Jim) feels for his childhood friend, Ántonia. Whether it's puppy love, infatuation, de...
My Ántonia upsets many traditional gender exceptions, but one in particular is the expectation that men be active, decisive characters. The novel's narrator and arguable protagonist, Jim Burde...
My Ántonia tells the story of white settlers in the American West around 1900. The characters deal with many different forms of suffering. The natural elements present a great challenge, parti...
My Ántonia is as much a coming of age story as any other genre. Protagonist Jim Burden begins the novel as a ten-year-old boy and the story follows his character through adolescence, college,...
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