Ch. 1-4 Book IV
1) What were Tiny's and Lena's achievements? How did they surpass the expectations of the Black Hawk residents? How did Tiny, in particular, challenge gender roles?
2) What is the irony of Tiny and Lena's success and Ántonia's perceived failure? Why couldn't Jim "forgive" her?
3) How do you interpret what happened to Ántonia? Why did she isolate herself and work in the fields when she came back?
4) What is the significance of Jim's statement that "the idea of you is a part of my mind; you influence my likes and dislikes, all of my tastes" (240, Ch. IV)?
Ch. 1-3 Book V
5) Why was Jim afraid to visit Ántonia after the years had gone by? Think back to the Introduction that described his adult life. What "illusions" do you think he has "parted with" in his own life?
6) What impressed him when he finally visited Ántonia? What did he mean that she "had not lost the fire of life"?
7) How is the apple orchard symbolic of Ántonia's life?
8) Why does Jim consider Ántonia a "rich mine of life, like the founders of early races" (261, Ch. 1)
9) What is the significance of the plans Jim makes with Ántonia's husband and boys? What does he mean that this visit gave him a "sense of coming home to myself" and he learned "what a little circle man's experience is" (273 Ch.III)?
1) The letter was written by the real woman whom Willa Cather based the novel on. What insight does Anna Pavelka's letter shed on the fictional Ántonia and the novel as a whole?