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My Antonia – Effects of Landscape Essay

Words: 1321, Paragraphs: 13, Pages: 5

Paper type: Essay

Nebraska prairie Is a vehicle for opportunity and opposition. Jim Burden and Antonio Chimera’s lives are direct descendants of this dualism that Inhabits the parallel, and decisively creates the adolescently between the two friends. Although only a few miles separated Jim from Antonio, the landscape of the united States made the two strangers. The Nebraska prairie may have been the only medium in which Jim would have ever met Antonio. Jims character represents all that Notation’s lacks. Their similarity is that both are traveling through foreign lands to start a new life.

The deference is that Jims ticket Is paid for. From the beginning of the novel Will Catcher sets up a clear adolescently between the statuses of Jim and Antonio. Antonio Is an Immigrant and speaks an inadequate amount of English. This isolates her and her family from the new life they’re trying to establish. Jim is a citizen and is moving out to a land that has been established by his grandparents. The Chimera’s have been uprooted from their homeland to start a new existence from scratch. Jim came from a productive farm in Virginia, while the Shimmered came from an unyielding life In

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Bohemia. T. T. 2 The expansive plains of Nebraska was instrumental In bringing together these polar classes in that it deposited the two families side by side. Land in My Antonio, is associated with power. On the train to Black Hawk, the conductor makes reference to a family from “over the water” traveling to the same destination as Jim. His companion, Jake, said ” you were likely to get diseases from foreigners” (10). This reference directly implies that the Shimmered are Indecent, and not of the same caste as Jim; an American citizen.

The phrase, “over the water” Is another way of saying, “not from our soil” or “not an American”. This pillories natives from foreigners, and puts a stigma on immigrants as being irregular. The Burdens have been instituted in the united States for many generations. The fact that Jims grandparents speak perfect English represents their establishment in the United States. In turn, the Burdens had secured a life on the farm In Black Hawk for many years. For the Burdens, land has become a metaphor for wealth. They broke the untamed Nebraska prairie long before Jim came to live with them.

Their partnership tit work and the land has yielded them a secure livelihood. This establishment has made the Burdens successful. The Nebraska prairie has afforded them a wooden home among a sod community. Their comforts include proper tools, a productive garden, and a variety of provisions. They are able to furnish hired hands which makes the farm more efficient and fruitful. The Burdens abundance Is T. T. 3 evidence of teller progress In refining the land. The Shimmered raw existence in the beginning of the novel is symbolic of the disadvantages a first generation family had to endure.

Nebraska) “was not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made” (17). Mr.. Shimmered became part of this material as the wide open prairie swallowed his life savings and his very existence. Nebraska was a regression from the life the Shimmered held in Eastern Europe. Since teen move to Anoraks In ten late summer teen were delayed in breaking any ground or securing a decent dwelling. The family had been swindled as they had to put their faith into the hands of a stranger, who gave them shoddy real estate. This meant that they would have little sustenance over the long inter.

The Chimeras entered a habitat in which they were entirely on their own. The barren landscape of Nebraska was not prejudice in dictating who would endure. By contrast, the land for Jim was a metaphor for opportunity. Since he had entered into a world of prosperity, Jim was able to cultivate his mind. Jim did not contribute to the operation of the farm. His role in life was very clear in that he was to be the further product of his grandparents labor. Jim was the produce of the Nebraska farmland that the Burdens had worked so hard to establish.

His toil would e in the classroom to capitalize on what had been handed to him. The act of getting an education is also the method of enhancing ones T. T 4 social standing. Throughout history, manual labor has been in association with the lower class. Living in the country was symbolic of being a part of the lower class because it involved fieldwork and farming; the most toilsome professions. In this case, the Burdens act of moving into town was symbolic of advancing up the class ladder because they physically removed themselves from the field. In this regard, land was a means of establishing a hierarchy.

With this shift from pastoral to urban the differences between Jim and Antonio become magnified. Even though, in the country Jims status was clearly distinguished amidst Notation’s; the move from the country to Black Hawk was the move from raw to refinement. Jims move to the city was an enhancement in his life. He would go too better school and begin preparing himself for a college education. Antonio would work long hours breaking sod and building a better farm, trying to improve the yield from last year’s harvest. Jim works indoors with a pencil while Antonio works outdoors with a plow.

The Burden’s retire and the Shimmered begin. Notation’s act of moving into town illustrates her awareness between the distinctions of living in the country and living in the city. Although, Antonio has begun to see a change in her life for the better; she goes to town to enjoy a laid back existence of working indoors, making friends, and having her “fling” at the dances (143). Antonio takes this time T. T. 5 seriously because she knows it will be a rare moment in her life that she won’t have to struggle. In the same respect, Antonio doesn’t take this time seriously because she knows it isn’t authentic.

It is only temporary because she hasn’t paid her dues. Notation’s life is in strong contrast to Jims, but when Antonio moves to Black Hawk Jim begins to finally understand their differences. Jims role has been rather feminizes as he doesn’t work a day of manual labor in his life. Jim has been sheltered by privileges and his families assets. Nation’s role is emasculated as her skin is tan and she has muscles. She takes on a stereotypical male personification because she has been a provider and bread winner for her family. While the two lived in the country, Jim was naive concerning the roles he and his neighbor Antonio ere developing.

Antonio was to be a pioneer and he himself was to be an accomplished student. Antonio sees Jims Tie as moldable, out seen does not see Jim as worthy AT admiration. This is because Antonio romanticizes hard work. She is not ashamed of her robust role because she sees farming as wholesome and honest. Antonio has had an intimate relationship with working the land and, in turn, the land has given back to Antonio the foundation of a better life. Notation’s world revolves around work and she does not see Jims academic life as one with toil.

This is the primary reason he does not find Jim as an eligible suitor. T. T. 6 In the end, Jims opportune life carried him far away from Antonio. Like the prairie converted into farmland, Jim was refined from country school to an alumni of Harvard Law School. Notation’s relationship with the land is symbolized by her large family as she embodies the fertile earth. Jims act of visiting Antonio at her farm outside of Black Hawk reinstates the power of the Nebraska prairie. It illustrates two distinctly different crops of the same land that have both flourished from the Nebraska soil.

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