My Antonia Questions and Answers
by Willa Cather

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In Willa Cather's novel My Ántonia, compare Jim Burden’s move out west with the Shimerdas' move. Cite the text of the novel for support.

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In Willa Cather’s novel My Ántonia, Jim Burden becomes an orphan when he is still a young boy living in Virginia. Sent by relatives, he travels by rail to Nebraska to live with his grandparents. During the course of his trip across country, he meets a family from Bohemia, the Shimerdas, who are headed toward the same small Nebraska town and who ultimately live not far from Jim. Jim, then, is traveling to Nebraska to achieve a new family life; the Shimerdas already constitute a family and are traveling to Nebraska in pursuit of their version of the American dream.

In Book 2, Part X, Mr. Shimerda himself explains some of the circumstances surrounding the family’s trip to Nebraska:

He wanted us to know that they were not beggars in the old country; he made good wages, and his family were respected there. He left Bohemia with more than a thousand dollars in savings, after their passage money was paid. He had in some way lost on exchange in New York, and the railway fare to Nebraska was...

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