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Apprehensive About Antonia?

My Antonia: a staple in American literature. But is it really worth the read?

My Antonia is set around 1880-1910 in Black Hawk Nebraska. The story follows character Jim Burden through about 30 years of his life, which is heavily influenced by an immigrant named Antonia.

One of the best aspects about the book is the theme of women empowerment. Abby Wessling says, “One of the only things I liked about the book was the portrayals of strong women in a time when women were overlooked and taken for granted.” and Sophia Mace says, “I really liked Lena’s character as a representation of female independence in the novel.”

Many students were less than impressed by the lack of excitement or suspense in the book. For example, Lilee Surdell said, “I could barely stay awake while reading it.” Ellen Veys said, “I thought it was written beautifully, even if the entire plot was not very enticing.” But others thoroughly enjoyed the book with its strong character roles, description, and themes. I personally thought that the book was good, and I really loved that nature was a character in this book.

According to Common Sense Media, many adults end up rereading the book and liking it better the second time around. This is because when people read a book for the second time they often find more layers and a greater significance in the novel. Many of the conversations I had with other students lead me to believe that the book was not well liked. My Antonia is an important piece of American literature. Hopefully it will gain a few more fans, even if it’s read again in the future.


Grace Larson
I’m a lover of animals and a reader of books. :)
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