In what three places did Anton Rosicky live before settling in Nebraska?

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rareynolds eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Anton lived in Bohemia (now the Czech Republic), London, and New York before moving to Nebraska. In each place, however, he is able to find Czechs or people who know the Czech language who protect and help him.

In section three of the story he reflects on his youth in Bohemia and his life in London and New York. After the death of his mother when he was small Anton lived with his maternal grandparents on their farm, but at age 18, after his grandfather died, Anton was sent to London by his father to work in a confectionery shop with his cousin. In section five, Anton remembers how when he got to the shop, he learned that the cousin had immigrated to America and had to live on the streets. He was rescued when he encountered by chance a German tailor who could speak some Czech, and who took him in and taught him his trade. It was not the only time the Czech language saved Anton; later in section 5 he explains how when he hears the language again "like de home folks talk it," he begs money for food from some wealthy Czechs leaving a restaurant, appealing to them as "my countrymen." These same people take him to New York, where he worked in a tailor shop. And it is at Park Place, New York when he hears of the great Czech farming communities in Nebraska that he figures out "what is the matter" with him: he yearns to return to the open country he knew on his grandparents' farm as a boy. In fact, even though Anton has lived in two great cities on two continents, it is his Czech heritage that means the most to him.

liesljohnson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

He lived in Czechoslovakia; London, England; and New York City, New York, in the US.

The narrator explains where Anton lived while he's sitting in his "corner," remembering the past. "He had a good deal to remember, really; life in three countries," the narrator states. So we know that he has lived in three different nations.

Anton grew up in the country on his grandparents' farm in Czechoslovakia, then was sent to live with his dad and stepmom when his grandfather died. Unhappy there, he moved to London, where he worked for a poor tailor and was miserable. He was able to escape to New York, where he found happiness and more tailoring work. But a craving for nature and for farm work led him to Omaha, Nebraska.

"Neighbor Rosicky" is a story that relies heavily on flashbacks, which is where this information is found, specifically in Section 3. The flashbacks themselves don't necessarily follow a strict chronological order, either, since they are Anton's memories as he recalls them. So, if you were given this question about where Anton had lived, and you were expecting the narrator to start the story from the beginning of Anton's life and explain where he lived before settling in Nebraska, you'd be confused. A summary of the story can help, so that you have an overview of how the story flows and where you might find the specific information you need within it.

Read the study guide:
Neighbor Rosicky

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