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Compare the view Lena, Antonia and Tiny have about success in life.  Do they achieve...

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luciavander | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 29, 2010 at 6:13 AM via web

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Compare the view Lena, Antonia and Tiny have about success in life.  Do they achieve succces according to their standards by the end of the book?

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litelle209 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted October 16, 2010 at 12:39 PM (Answer #1)

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Yes, I think it is fair to say they do become successful in their own way. The beauty of the narrative lies in the fact that it presents the reader with different notions of female success that are presented as equal. Antonia is introduced as the one who works the hardest. She works in the fields, tanned, loading hay like a man. When Jim meets her later on in the narrative, it is surprising to find her as the one who has settled into the most conventional family life, but yet it is clear that it is not a matter of actually having done so because she was pregnant and jilted by her lover. Rather, Antonia actively made the choice to marry Anton. Unlike her parents's marriage, Antonia and Anton seem to have a marriage based on equality. I would suggest that this can be read as progress and success in domestic relations.Tiny and Lena seem destined for success. While they never marry their success, like Antonia's, is driven by the fact that they are able to make choices for themselves. Neither one of them is limited by the obligation or expectation to marry and have children. Tiny becomes rich in the gold rush and Lena owns her own business.

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