Chapters 11-19 Questions and Answers

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 317

Study Questions
1. What is the significance of the snowstorm just before Christmas?

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2. What is so unusual about Otto’s trunk?

3. Why does Mr. Shimerda arrive at the Burden’s alone?

4. What is the significance of the “false spring” just before the blizzard?

5. Name two places in this section where the narrator jumps forward in time.

6. When Antonia tells Jim of her father’s worsening depression, why does he feel little pity for him?

7. On the morning of the suicide, how does Jim know that something has happened?

8. Why doesn’t Grandmother Burden believe Mr. Shimerda could have killed himself?

9. What one thing makes Jake believe that Krajiek killed Mr. Shimerda?

10. How are Jim’s and Ambrosch’s concerns over the dead Mr. Shimerda related?

Answers
1. It cuts them off from the town and gives Jim a pleasant memory of a country Christmas.

2. Along with his boots and pistols, he keeps the delicate paper figures he takes out to decorate the tree.

3. Cather wants to reinforce his sense of isolation and loneliness.

4. It shows that there is “false hope” for things to get better, and things are going to change drastically.

5. At the end of Chapter 11, he jumps forward to say he’ll always remember Jake and Otto that Christmas; at the end of Chapter 16, he recalls Mr. Shimerda’s grave.

6. Jim is still angry at Mrs. Shimerda’s wanting other people’s things.

7. Jim hears excited voices in the kitchen as he awakes.

8. She always believed him to be considerate and that he wouldn’t want the burden of his death on anyone.

9. Krajiek’s axe fits the gash mark on Mr. Shimerda’s face.

10. They are both concerned about the flight of Mr. Shimerda’s soul; Jim believes it is in the house and wonders whether it will find its way back to the old country; Ambrosch is concerned it will not make it into heaven.

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