My Antonia Questions for Friday

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Ch. 17-19 (Book I) and Ch. 1-6 (Book II)
1. Consider issues of gender roles. How did working in the fields change Ántonia in appearance and otherwise? Why do Jim and his grandmother disapprove?
2. What kind of chores did Ántonia do that would make the farmhands joke "in a nasty way"? (100, Ch. 17)
3. How was the feud between Jake and Ambrosch made into an issue about "foreigners"?
4. Why was Mrs. Shimerda's action kissing Mr. Burden's hand "Old World"? What does that mean and why was Mr. Burden embarrassed? (106, Ch 18)
5. How is Jim's life different from Ántonia's? What are the gender role and social class expectations in Jim's idea that Ántonia needs to be "nice" all the time?
6. When Jim moves to Black Hawk what are the activities that make him a "boy"? Why are these activities gendered male? Several female members of the Harling family cross gender roles? What makes them boyish or mannish? How does Jim view the Harling females' actions? Compare to how he views Ántonia working in the fields.
7. At the same time, how does working at the Harlings help Ántonia become more girlish? Why was this important? What does it mean that Mrs. Burden thought she had to "save" Ántonia?
8. Why was Mrs. Harling skeptical of Lina Lingard? How was Lina's life on the farm represented and why was she looked down upon?
9. Book II of the novel is titled "The Hired Girls." What does it tell us about the girls' status and how the townspeople view them?
10. What does the homeless man mean when he says "so it's Norwegians now, is it? I thought this was Americy"?

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This page contains a single entry by blakedj published on September 29, 2011 4:22 PM.

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