Myths Perpetuated in Willa Cather's "My Antonia" Book Review by Jay Writtings LLC

Myths Perpetuated in Willa Cather's "My Antonia"
A discussion of myths that Willa Cather wove into the text of her novel, "My Antonia."
# 120269 | 1,412 words | 0 sources | 2010 | US
Published on Jun 08, 2010 in Literature (American) , History (U.S. The Young Nation 1800-1848)

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This paper examines Willa Cather's famous novel, "My Antonia," and the myths Cather perpetuated in the work about the West. These common beliefs are described as the evil railroads, the success of the immigrant country people, and their innate superiority over the townspeople. The paper systematically deconstructs these myths, showing how they were a necessary to the novel and part of the national psyche when it was written. The reviewer concludes that Cather's myths created a fascinating and interesting novel, but not one with a deep and abiding message.

From the Paper:

"Antonia's pregnancy is an important part of the story in that it forces the reader to come to the conclusion that the railroads, and their employees, were criminal and immoral. As Jim Burden recalled, "Poor Antonia! Every one would be saying that now, I thought bitterly.... Antonia went away to marry Larry Donovan at some place where he was working; that he had deserted her, and that there was now a baby. This was all I knew." Larry Donovan, the fired railroad conductor, was a consummate ladies man, and the downfall of Antonia. When she marries Cuzak, there is an impression that Antonia was better off 1) not marrying an American working on the railroad, and 2) marrying a Bohemian, someone of her own kind."

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Myths Perpetuated in Willa Cather's "My Antonia" (2010, June 08) Retrieved May 28, 2023, from

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"Myths Perpetuated in Willa Cather's "My Antonia"" 08 June 2010. Web. 28 May. 2023. <>