Book Notes Book 4: The Pioneer Woman's Story, Chapters 1 and 2 Notes from My Antonia

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My Antonia Book 4: The Pioneer Woman's Story, Chapters 1 and 2

Two years after Jim leaves Lincoln, he finishes his college education at Harvard. Before he enters Law School, he returns to Black Hawk for his summer vacation. Jim has heard that Antonia was going to marry Larry Donovan, but was abandoned and had given birth to a child out of wedlock. Frances fills in the missing pieces of information for him. Donovan never intended to marry Antonia, who now lives on her family's farm. Frances fears that Antonia will be under Ambrosch's control now.

Jim is sorely disappointed in Antonia. He could not forgive her for being an object of pity, while Lena is an object of success. The townspeople who had been so fond of Antonia now pity her, and the same townspeople who disdained Lena, exclaim over her good fortune. Jim also is surprised by the fate of Tiny Soderball, who has become wealthy from her investments. She had gone to the Klondike region of Alaska, where gold was found. She ran a hotel there and befriended a dying man, who deeded her his claim to gold. Tiny invested her share of the claim and became rich. When Jim sees Tiny years later in 1908, living in San Francisco with Lena, whom she'd persuaded to come to San Franscisco, he sees that Tiny is "satisfied with her success, but not elated." Book 4, Chapter 1, pg. 194.

Topic Tracking: Antonia 9
Topic Tracking: Gender and Sexuality 12

Jim sees Antonia's baby's picture hanging in the photographer's shop. Most girls would have been too ashamed and humiliated to display their babies' pictures for people to see, but, as Jim remarks, Antonia is unlike the town girls. Antonia is rather proud of her baby, and that she can display her baby's picture with pride, shows that Antonia has risen above social criticism and judgement.

Topic Tracking: Antonia 10

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