“She threw the package into the stove, but I bit off a corner of one of the chips I held in my hand, and chewed it tentatively. I never forgot the strange taste; though it was many years before I knew that those little brown shavings, which the Shimerdas had brought so far and treasured so jealously, were dried mushrooms. They had been gathered, probably, in some deep Bohemian forest….” (Cather).
page 52- My copy isn’t from the bookstore, but this is the last paragraph before Chapter XI.
There are many instances thoroughout book I where the Shimerdas are jealous of what Jimmy’s grandparents have. The Shimerdas know that life for them in America will be hard, unlike Bohemia. In this instance, however, I felt that it was rude of the grandmother to throw the mushrooms away. Food was scarce; she should have tried harder to refuse the gift than to take it knowing she would simply toss it out.
Many times while reading the first book of “My Antonia”, I began to feel the suspense as if a conflict was on the rise only to see the subject dissolve into nothing. Then suddenly, Mr. Shimerda dies. I was shocked. I gasped out loud. I never expected something so major to happen so early in the story to someone who seemed to be an important character. Writers like this make stories so real to readers like me.
I never like you no more, Jake and Jim Burden,’ Antonia panted. ‘No friends any more!’
Jake stopped and turned his horse for a second. ‘Well, you’re a damned ungrateful lot, the whole pack of you,’ he shouted back. ‘I guess the Burdens can get along without you. You’ve been a sight of trouble to them, anyhow!’
‘They ain’t the same, Jimmy,’ he kept saying in a hurt tone. ‘These foreigners ain’t the same. You can’t trust ’em to be fair. It’s dirty to kick a feller. You heard how the women turned on you– and after all we went through on account of ’em last winter! They ain’t to be trusted. I don’t want to see you get too thick with any of ’em.’
This last part of the chapter made me mad! If I was Jim or Jim’s Grandfather I wouldn’t have helped them with their horse that had colic. I don’t know why this made me mad, maybe because the Shimerdas were ungrateful and the Burdens had done so much for them already. I felt it wasn’t the Shimerdas place to become so petty and envious because they were new to the land and the Burdens had brought them all that food and helped them. Antonia also didn’t want the Burdens to have a better season than her family because she started to become too confident in her land and skills, but she and her family still didn’t have the experience that the Jim’s grandparents had. How did it make you all feel reading the end of chapter 18 and a little bit of chap.19? Would you have been forgiving like Jim’s grandfather, or let them be on their own since that’s how they treated you?
By: Anita Smith
Here is my first post.
I hope I am doing this correctly.
See you guys next week and have a safe weekend!
So here we are. This is our blog. We’ll be spending a good deal of time here this semester. This is our forum for dialoging about all things “modernist” (and about a few things that probably aren’t). Make good use of this space. If you come across some interesting photos or videos in your research, maybe an article or online page, feel free to throw it up here. We’re all administrators. Happy blogging!