Discuss how Willa Cather's novel My Antonia demonstrates this realism.In literature, realism is a school of thought that attempts to represent middle-class reality by using simple language and a...

Discuss how Willa Cather's novel My Antonia demonstrates this realism.

In literature, realism is a school of thought that attempts to represent middle-class reality by using simple language and a straightforward tone, among other tools. Discuss how Willa Cather's novel "My Antonia" demonstrates this realism.

This is for an essay that I have to write, so if you can make your answer long as possible. I need at least 3 paragraphs.. 

Thanks so much!

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vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Cather's use of simple langauge and a straightforward tone to present a realistic depiction of humanity is evident, for example, in the following passage:

Before I could sit down in the chair she offered me, the miracle happened; one of those quiet moments that clutch the heart, and take more courage than the noisy, excited passages in life. Antonia came in and stood before me; a stalwart, brown woman, flat-chested, her curly brown hair a little grizzled. It was a shock, of course. It always is, to meet people after long years, especially if they have lived as much and as hard as this woman had. We stood looking at each other. The eyes that peered anxiously at me were—simply Antonia's eyes. I had seen no others like them since I looked into them last, though I had looked at so many thousands of human faces. As I confronted her, the changes grew less apparent to me, her identity stronger. She was there, in the full vigour of her personality, battered but not diminished, looking at me, speaking to me in the husky, breathy voice I remembered so well.

None of the phrasing here is complicated; none of the words chosen are unusual or difficult to comprehend. Antonia's appearance is not romanticized; the wear and tear of the years on her body are strongly emphasized. This paragraph deals with a common and realistic human situation -- one to which almost anyone can relate. In all these respects, the passage is typical of the novel as a whole.


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