My Ántonia By Willa Cather Summary and Analysis Book I: The Shimerdas: Chapter XIII

Summary

A thaw follows Christmas, and the prairie is soon warmed by three weeks of fine weather. Mrs. Shimerda and Ántonia visit the Burdens. Still grumbling, Mrs. Shimerda complains about how her family struggles in poverty while the Burdens live in relative luxury. She snatches an iron pot from the stove and complains that Grandmother has many cooking utensils while she has none, so Grandmother gives her the pot.

Ántonia tells Jim that her father never wanted to come to America; it was her mother who wanted to come so that Ambrosch could become rich. Jim is so disgusted about the pot incident that he doesn't care.

On January 20, Jim's eleventh birthday, a blizzard buries the prairie. Grandfather says that he hasn't seen a storm this bad in the ten years he's lived in Nebraska.

Analysis

Mrs. Shimerda's visit to the Burdens contrasts sharply with Mr. Shimerda's visit in the previous chapter. Mr. Shimerda was happy to be in the Burden home and was thankful for all they'd done for his family; Mrs. Shimerda, however, is jealous, complains that the Burdens haven't done enough, and helps herself to one of Grandmother's cooking pots. Ironically, just as Ántonia and her father are generous and appreciative, so are Ambrosch and his mother envious and grasping.

Glossary

carried in the cobs brought in a container of corn cobs, to be used as fuel.

The Prince of the House of David a biblical romance by J. H. Ingrahm, an American novelist.

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As a child, Antonia faced many difficulties. Which of the following was not one of them?




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