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My Ántonia

My Ántonia

by Willa Cather

Youth Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Fuchs told me everything I wanted to know: how he had lost his ear in a Wyoming blizzard when he was a stage-driver, and how to throw a lasso. He promised to rope a steer for me before sundown next day. He got out his `chaps` and silver spurs to show them to Jake and me, and his best cowboy boots, with tops stitched in bold design-- roses, and true-lover's knots, and undraped female figures. These, he solemnly explained, were angels. (1.2.10)

Jim displays boyhood admiration for Otto, who becomes one of the symbols of manhood for the young kid. Many of Jim's ideas about how to grow up stem from this relationship.

Quote #2

Much as I liked Ántonia, I hated a superior tone that she sometimes took with me. She was four years older than I, to be sure, and had seen more of the world; but I was a boy and she was a girl, and I resented her protecting manner. (1.7.1)

Jim and Ántonia's relationship is complicated both by their ages and by their genders. Ántonia is superior in terms of age, but Jim feels he should have the upper hand because he's the man. Hence all the confusion…

Quote #3

I read "The Swiss Family Robinson" aloud to her, and I felt that the Swiss family had no advantages over us in the way of an adventurous life. (1.9.8)

Cather does a great job of portraying Jim's youthful enthusiasm for his life on the prairie. The whole attitude of the My Ántonia is very much colored by the narrator's young age.

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