1. Willa Cather’s birth/death. (December 7, 1873 - April 24, 1947).
2. The year MY ANTONIA was published and the names of the other two books in the trilogy. Prairie Trilogy -O Pioneers! (1913), The Song of the Lark (1915), and My Ántonia (1918).
3. Tell 3 things about Willa Cather’s personal life.
a. As a student at the University of Nebraska in the early 1890s, Cather sometimes used the masculine nickname “William” and wore masculine clothing.
b. She bought a cottage in Whale Cove, on the Bay of Fundy, Canada. It was the only house she ever owned.
c. Cather had planned to major in science at the University of Nebraska - she hoped to become a medical doctor. After her essay on Thomas Carlyle was published in the Nebraska State Journal during her freshman year, she became a regular contributor to the Journal, changed her major, and graduated in 1894 with a B.A. in English.
4. 3 things Willa has in common with main char Jim Burden. Born in Virginia, moved to Nebraska, moved from a farm to a city.
Section 2 - The Text
1. “Virgil”. What are the two important things about Jim Burden noted before starting to read My Antonia? The background of where Jim was born, where he lives, what he does for a living and his marital life are mentioned, as well as the fact that he retained his youthful and lively character even in his forties. It is also showed that Antonia meant a great deal to him.
2. Describe two characters in detail. Are they appealing? Why or why not? Otto Fuchs and Josiah Burden/Jim’s grandfather.
Grandfather. Jim’s paternal grandfather, who is dignified and quiet. He is strong and respected; even Mrs. Shimerda and Ambrosch agree to his peaceful terms when Jake gets into a fight with Ambrosch. Mr. Burden is made a deacon of the Black Hawk church when the Burdens move to town.
Otto Fuchs. The Burdens’ hired hand, an Austrian immigrant whom a young Jim declares looks like someone out of his book, Jesse James. Otto is a good worker; Jim admires him for being such a focused, responsible worker for his grandparents. Jake decides to go West with Otto when the Burdens move to town and leave their farm.
3. Non-human characters in the book? Their role and use in My Antonia. The surrounding, the weather, the climate, the city. Those are described in great detail, thus seemingly attempting to provide an image of character and attitude of a living being, as well as underlining the fact that they matter.
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