Jim Burden a very successful lawyer from New York City that tells a friend a story of his youth when he lives in Nebraska. He shared his memories of his good friend Antonia . This Chronicle makes up most of this novel. At the age of ten years old, Jim reaches Nebraska. He is on a train headed out west shortly after finding himself an orphan in Virginia, Jim gets his first look at Antonia and her family. They were a Bohemian immigrant family traveling to Nebraska. Ironically to the same place as Jim. This would be the Start of the Everlasting friendship of Jim and his Antonia .
As the world would have it, the Shimerdas found a place to live. A farm to be exact, neighboring Jim and his grandparents. The young ten year old from Virginia makes fast friends with Antonia and her siblings. This would be a good thing for Jim as he was going to a new place. I also feel throughout the novel, especially later, his friendship with Antonia caused tension between him and his family. Jim and Antonia were the closest in age of her siblings. Antonia did not have a lot of schooling in the English language, so Jim starts to tutor her. They spend a lot of the Fall together. They also explore all the Farmland around them.
Later in the mounth of January, Antonia’s father committed suicide; it was a very emotional time, and after an emotional Funeral Antonia and her family Retreat into depression. Jim and his grandparents struggle to be as accommodating and neighborly as they can, but Antonia’s brother does not appreciate this kindness as he should. Personally I feel like after the loss of his father, Antonia’s brother may not have known how to properly use the farm equipment Jim’s Family shared. When he broke it, he almost felt embarrassed. Instead of being humble he puts it off like it’s Jim’s grandparents fault. Jim’s family gets kind of upset and this starts to drive a wedge between Jim and Antonia.
A few years later Jim and his family make an interesting decision to move into town. Not too long after they make the move, Jim’s grandmother and their neighbor start talking; the burdens neighbor hire Antonia. Her new job would consist of housekeeping. This would turn out to be a little harder than it seemed. It seemed to me that Antonia’s culture was a man dominating culture. After her father died, her brother forced her to work in the fields like a man doing man’s work. She perhaps did the work better than some of the men out there, but it was no place for a young woman like Antonia. This is what made her new job so much harder than it really was. She had to completely change her ways. She went from working like a man to having to learn how to cook, clean properly, and be a housekeeper.
After Antonia takes the job, her relationship with Jim also goes to another level. Although Jim really, really likes Antonia more than just a friend, Antonia and Jim are nothing but very good friends. Both of them are able to spend a lot more time together now that they live right next to each other for a second time. They also found something they had in common, dancing. Antonia, along with some other working girls found dancing pavilions, which I’m pretty sure it’s kind of like a Dancehall or in my case like a revolver, just a little bit different. Antonia and Jim Dance the night Away many nights . For Jim, Antonia and her friends,which are also Jim’s friends, thought the dancing pavilion coming to town it was a very good thing. Jim’s grandparents did not agree with him going to the Pavilion with the working girls. For me this is like when I would turn 16 and 17 and wanted to go hang out in town with my buddies even though I lived in small-town. Just going uptown and hanging out was always a fun thing to do, but for a while my parents didn’t agree with it. I feel like this is where Jim’s grandparents did not feel like it’s 100% right for him to go and do that with these girls. Jim ends up Disobeying his grandparents, sneaks out, and does it anyway. This causes quite a bit of tension between Jim and his grandparents.
Jim’s High School career quickly came to a halt, but this was not the end of his schooling career. Jim got offered a spot at the University in Lincoln. He is very successful in a high school speech, and is given the opportunity to spend the summer hard at work and preparation for his studies. Jim throws himself into his studies once he reaches the university. This takes up a majority of his time in the first year and a half of his course. I believe this was a way for him to get out of his hometown and get away from some of the stuff. His grandparents have always taught him how to be his own person. Towards the spring of his 2nd second year at the University, he begins to spend time with Lena lingard. Lena is a good friend of Antonia’s and has always been intrigued and infatuated by Jim. Shortly after his time with Lena, he decides to reevaluate and decides to make a fresh start by transferring to Harvard for his final two years of college.
This is where the two childhood friends really get distant from each other. After Jim finishes his fourth year of school and before he plans to go to law school, he spends the summer with his grandparents Antonia has had an unexpected pregnancy. Her family and their beliefs almost disowned her, but she continued to work on the family farm. I don’t agree with their family being like this. Antonia was engaged, and I guarantee you her family was for this engagement. The man that left Antonia and his unborn child is at fault; there’s no if ands or buts about it. It makes a promise to Antonia basically saying he will return again to check on her. Twenty-two years ago, before Jim is able to visit Antonia again, both Antonia and Jim have lives of their own, although they are for the most part completely different, both Jim and Antonia remember how they grew up doing a lot of the same things. Although Jim had an easier life he still had to work for everything, much like his Antonia.