Study Guide

My Ántonia Book 5, Chapter 2

By Willa Cather

Book 5, Chapter 2

  • The next morning Jim observes Leo some more. He is a quick, impatient boy.
  • Jim dresses and washes and comes into the house for breakfast. Ántonia wishes Jim could meet Martha except she doesn't get away from her own farm except on Sundays. Ántonia misses seeing her grandchild.
  • Ántonia explains to Jim that she always treated Martha just like her other children and so did Anton.
  • Finally Cuzak, Ántonia's husband, arrives home from his trip. He is a small, lively man with great teeth. He's wearing a fancy necktie.
  • Rudolph, one of the sons, has come with his father. He talks about the great sights they saw in the city.
  • Jim watches Ántonia and Cuzak together and sees that they fit each other well.
  • Cuzak brought little presents home for his children, mostly candy. He seems amused that he has so many children.
  • Cuzak brought some Bohemian papers home with him and starts telling his wife all the news. He talks about a singer named Vasakova who broke her leg.
  • Later he asks Jim if he heard about the Cutters. He tells the following story:
  • The Cutters grew old together. A new law was passed under which a wife who survived her husband was guaranteed a third of her husband's estate. Cutter was afraid he would die first and his wife's family would get his stuff. So he killed her and shot himself and then called in some men to witness that he outlived her. Then he died.
  • After supper Cuzak and Jim go for a walk. Cuzak tells him about himself. His father was a shoemaker and he was apprenticed to his uncle who was a furrier. He worked in Vienna and then came to New York. He ended up on Florida and then finally Nebraska. He married Ántonia shortly after he met her.
  • Cuzak admits that he is a city person, not a farm person. He says he is happy with Ántonia and that he'd like to go back to Europe some day. It doesn't seem like he's been away so long, he says.