Jim Burden: MY ANTONIA, Book II, Ch. VII

I walked home with Antonia. We were so excited that we dreaded to go to bed. We lingered a long while at the Harlings’ gate, whispering in the cold until the restlessness was slowly chilled out of us.

Samson and the Piano: MY ANTONIA, Book II, Ch. VII

Self’s mother attended Curtis as an 11-year-old who had never, ever left the Philippines before.

So when she reads the below passage in My Antonia, she is practically in tears:

They found he had absolute pitch, and a remarkable memory. As a very young child he could repeat, after a fashion, any composition that was played for him. No matter how many wrong notes he struck, he never lost the intention of a passage, he brought the substance of it across by irregular and astonishing means. He wore his teachers out. He could never learn like other people, never acquired any finish.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

LENA: MY ANTONIA, Book II Ch. IV

Lena lived in the Norwegian settlement west of Squaw Creek, and she used to herd her father’s castle in the open country between his place and the Shimerdas’. Whenever we rode over in that direction we saw her out among her cattle, bareheaded and barefooted, scantily dressed in tattered clothing, always knitting as she watched her herd. Before I knew Lena, I thought of her as something wild, that always lived on the prairie, because I had never seen her under a roof. Her yellow hair was burned into a ruddy thatch on her head; but her legs and arms, curiously enough, in spite of constant exposure to the sun, kept a miraculous whiteness which somehow made her seem more undressed than other girls who went scantily clad. The first time I stopped to talk to her, I was astonished at her soft voice and easy, gentle ways. The girls out there usually got rough and mannish after they went to herding. 

pioneerwoman5

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

So Much Sadness: MY ANTONIA, Book I, Ch. XVIII

Spoiler Alert!

Mr. Shimerda, Antonia’s father, killed himself because he wanted to go back to the old country, he missed it so much.

He left a wife, a daughter, and a son to manage the farm by themselves.

Antonia, who at one time had been close to Jim Burden (narrator) became overworked, developed muscles, grew dark in the sun, and lost all hope of becoming a proper lady. One night when Jim Burden stays for supper, he observes that “Antonia ate so noisily now, like a man.”

The Shimerdas quarrel with the Burdens.

And that is the end of the friendship between Jim Burden and Antonia.

So sad!

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