My Antonia Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How long has Jim been living with his grandparents at the start of Book 2?

2. Antonia confides to Jim that her father is _______________

3. What event is responsible for the lightened tone at the hotel?

4. What does Otto put on the Christmas tree that attracts everyone's attention?

5. What possession does Russian Peter value over all others?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Tiny Soderball's work and living environment

2. How do the Shimerdas react when the Burdens bring them supplies during the cold winter?

3. Why does Mrs. Shimerda ask Jim's grandfather to say a prayer during her husband's funeral?

4. Why do Jake and Ambrosch come to blows in Chapter 18?

5. What reaction do the Harlings have to Antonia's interest in the dances in the tent?

6. What is significant about January 22 in this novel?

7. What change in Jim's life occurs in the first chapter of Book 2? How does it affect him?

8. Does Antonia attend school? Why or why not?

9. Describe Jim's encounter with the rattlesnake as he and Antonia return from Russian Peter's

10. What is a rattlesnake cane? What is its importance for the Burdens?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The influence of men on Antonia's development is a recurring topic in My Antonia. Select two of the following men and discuss the relationship between him and Antonia. Focus your discussion on the ways the the man does or does not influence her development in a positive way. Cite several specific examples from the novel to support your ideas.

1) Jim

2) Ambrosch

3) Mr. Shimerda

4) Larry Donovan

Essay Topic 2

The title of the novel, My Antonia, takes on several layers of meaning as the story develops. Discuss the significance of the title. Be sure to cite specific examples from the text to support your ideas.

Essay Topic 3

In the inscription for My Antonia Willa Cather quotes Virgil (Optima dies . . . prima fugit," or the best days are the first to flee). Discuss the significance of this quote for the novel as a whole. Why do you think the author chose this inscription? What commentary is she making?

Be sure to use specific examples from the novel to support your ideas.

(see the answer keys)

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