My Antonia Questions and Answers
by Willa Cather

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In My Antonia how do the surroundings, or how does the setting, affect Antonia and how does that effect help illuminate the entire work?

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It is a curious characteristic of many who have lived and, especially, farmed in the prairie states and the plains states that, while to the casual observer of these areas there is little beauty in the expanse of "plain" land without the majesty of mountains and lakes, such places are rich and beautiful to them. For, when someone breaks the fertile soil and sows seeds that come to rich fruition, there forms a bond between the human who has spent many an hour in toil and communion with the fertile earth that nourishes and keeps him/her. Certainly, the farmer senses in the earth and the landscape--

...the miles of copper-red grass...drenched in sunlight that was stronger and fiercer than at any other time of the day--


When Antonia Shimerda first arrives in Nebraska from Bohemia [Czech Republic now], she is a dainty girl, pampered by her more aristocratic father. But, after living in abject poverty in a subterranean home and spending a brutal winter, Antonia is altered by her...

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