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Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

Explore the religious, social, and national background of the various waves of European immigration to the Great Plains and how these factors affected their assimilation into "American" society.

Track the correlation between changing economic conditions and the changing American attitude toward immigration.

Consider how much of Mrs. Shimerda's greed and false pride is a product of her own psychological nature or of the circumstances we find her in.

Consider reasons why Willa Cather chose a male narrator and why women dominate the novel.

Compare Willa Cather's writing style to that of Herman Melville, that of Ernest Hemingway, or that of Virginia Woolf.

Create two differing interpretations of My Ántonia, one depending on Jim Burden as its center and one with Ántonia Shimerda at its center.