How is religion treated in My Antonia, and which religion  is shown in a better light?

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When Mr. Shimerda kills himself or dies (depending on your interpretation of the scene) the entire saga seems to suggest that the Shimerda's particular brand of religion is entirely rigid, unwieldy and unfair. The book even includes the scene of Mr. Shimerda being buried at the crossroads, a scene from Cather's...

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When Mr. Shimerda kills himself or dies (depending on your interpretation of the scene) the entire saga seems to suggest that the Shimerda's particular brand of religion is entirely rigid, unwieldy and unfair. The book even includes the scene of Mr. Shimerda being buried at the crossroads, a scene from Cather's own life.

Dave Becker

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As with many other themes in the novel, Jim’s family enacts ideals—all that is good in American society. His grandfather and grandmother practice religion quietly and are tolerant of the religion of Mr. Shimerda, for example, which we see when  he visits their house of Christmas.  Indeed, the Burden celebration of Christmas, which is homely and simple, based on a short prayer, family love, homemade presents, and good food, contrasts with Mr. Shimerda praying in front of their Christmas tree and (somewhat shockingly) not spending Christmas with his own family

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