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Book I, Introduction and Chapters 1-10 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Cather have Jim Burden and the Bohemian immigrants arriving on the same train?

2. What is the significance of the train arriving at night?

3. Why does Jim want to be left alone in the garden?

4. To what does Jim compare the many-colored grasses on the prairie?

5. Why isn’t Mr. Shimerda’s fiddle of any use to him here?

6. What is the significance of the sunflower-lined roads?

7. Why does Jim visit trees “as if they were persons?”

8. Why does Cather choose to have the characters Pavel and Peter come from Russia?

9. Why does Cather have Antonia relay the tragic tale of the Russians to Jim?

10. Ms. Cather uses contrast to great effect in this section. Between what chapters do we see contrasts?

Answers
1. They are on a journey together, one that will ultimately forge a lasting friendship between Jim and Antonia.

2. Jim and the immigrants are strangers arriving in a new and savage land. The darkness emphasizes that they will have to struggle to make their way.

3. He feels a need for independence through his solitude with nature.

4. Jim compares the prairie to the ocean and...

(The entire section is 375 words.)