My Antonia by Willa Cather

August 6, 2008
By Kaitlyn Tsai BRONZE, Walnut, California
Kaitlyn Tsai BRONZE, Walnut, California
2 articles 3 photos 0 comments

Has a friend ever told you that a book was particularly boring and you took account of his word? Well, that was exactly what I did the summer before freshman year. I had been enrolled in the English 1 Honors class and it was required for all students of the course to read a classic called My Antonia by Willa Cather. I have always loved reading until about eighth grade. From there, I lost my interest in books and words. I felt it was pointless and waste of time. Because of what my friend had told me, I made the prejudgment that the book was just going to be another one of books I have to drag through.

As expected, I picked up My Antonia without much enthusiasm. I remember getting through the first few pages and finding it one of the least entertaining novels I have ever laid my eyes upon. Unfortunately, I had to finish the book regardless. As the book progressed, the conflicts remained passive. Most had to do with the main character, Jim Burden, and his relationship with an irreplaceable friend, Antonia (as mentioned in the title). Throughout the story, Jim's affection for Antonia grows from a childhood crush to eventual love.

However, life gets in the way separating the two friends for more than twenty years. Jim Burden pursues a life in college and eventually follows his professor to Harvard University for law school while Antonia continues a farm life with a poor, but loving husband. Although Jim becomes exceptionally successful, his mind lingers over the thoughts and memories he had over Antonia. Finally, after running into an old colleague, Jim decides to visit where he came from. There, they are reconnected with their friendship and childhood and Jim is reminded where he came from.

My Antonia consists of five different books or sections combined. Much of the content in the first three are a bit of a bore, but the ending is heart-felt and breathtaking.. So, you ask, is this book good? My answer is yes. It really is. Although it is not the strongest story in the middle, the end of the story makes reading through the whole book worthwhile.

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