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Word Count: 862
Throughout My Antonia Willa Cather uses nature as a tool through which she can better connect the audience to the inner meanings of her writings The setting and background are constantly being emphasized as Cather believed it to be a vital part of the Midwest lifestyle Two particular scenes seem to stand out because of their placement in the novel and due to what they represent One of them is at the beginning of the story when Jim was getting accustomed to Nebraska The other is placed further along the plot when Jim was preparing to leave for college Jim ventures out one day with his grandma to dig up some potatoes in their garden It is early in the story and Jim has been in Nebraska for only a short while He follows his grandma there in reluctance not having much interest in being there at all He sensed the desolate area and thought he was at the end of the world for all that was left were the sun the sky and the ground He decided to stay longer than his grandma in the garden Cathers word choices and associations at this point become very deep and symbolic All about me giant grasshoppers twice as big as any I had ever seen were doing acrobatic feats among the dried vines This suggests that Jim is feeling very small compared to his surroundings in the environment Also it seems that Jim is witnessing things almost in slow motion attributed to the gracefulness of the grasshopper Everything is slowing down becoming very clear in his mind There in the sheltered draw-bottom the wind did not blow very hard but I could hear it singing its humming tune up on the level and could see the tall grasses wave The earth was warm under me and warm as I crumbled it through my fingers This quote represents the essence of what Cather is trying to
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