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The Image of Antonia Since Ive been away I think of you more often than of anyone else in this part of the world Id have like to have you for a sweetheart or a wife or my mother or my sister anything that a woman can be to man Cather 206 In Willa Cathers My Antonia Jim Burden spoke those words to his life long love Antonia Shimerda Jim and Antonia were close friends but were so far apart in other aspects therefore they never got a chance to be husband and wife One reason Jim and Antonia never married was because they viewed the value of the land differently Throughout the story Antonia was a representation of a life very different from Jims and her strong bond with the land shows us Jims fascination with Antonia She was his counterpart Antonia represented an alternative to Jims life Unlike Jim she was able to move away from all the stereotypes and boundaries of her class and gender Antonia was a lot less inhibited than Jim and she listened to her heart more In the end Jims decisions were made according to social thumbs up or thumbs down As much as he loved Nebraska and the farmland Jim was able to give it up for the city whereas Antonia was the happiest there and was content with her life in Nebraska Jim had a lot of harmony with the land and loved it very much but he never had to work it like Antonia did She had to go through the pains of it more than Jim did When winter would come Jim was protected by his grandmothers house while Antonia had to wait it out in the cold Jim was the type of person that whenever he saw the land he thought of what use it could be as in railroads and buildings He looked at it as an instrument for
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