In Willa Cather's novel, My Ántonia, did Ántonia get to keep the money she earned while working for the Harlings?

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Ántonia takes a job with the Harlings, in Willa Cather's novel, My Antonia," there is some argument between Ambrosch Shimerda, Ántonia's brother, and Mrs. Harling.

Mrs. Harling agrees to pay Ántonia three dollars a week, a decent wage. Mrs. Harling also agrees to provide Ántonia with a pair of shoes every year. Mrs. Shimerda doesn't like the sense of being "beholden" to the Harlings, and promises to provide "three fat geese" each year to cover the cost of the shoes.

Mrs. Harling also insists upon putting aside $50 per year for Ántonia's use. This does not seem to sit well with Ambrosch, but the work is good, they need the money, and in the end, it would appear that Ántonia will collect $50 at the end of each year, and the $3 weekly wage will go to Ántonia's family.

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My Antonia

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