My Antonia Essay

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In the following excerpt, Miller explains how Cather's book is about the failure to find happiness by pursuing materialistic dreams.

[My Antonia] does not portray, in any meaningful sense, the fulfillment of the American dream. By and large, the dreams of the pioneers lie shattered, their lives broken by the hardness of wilderness life. Even those who achieve, after long struggle, some kind of secure life are diminished in the genuine stuff of life. For example, in one of his accounts that reach into the future beyond the present action, Jim Burden tells us of the eventual fate of the vivacious Tiny Soderball, one of the few to achieve "solid worldly success." She had a series of exciting adventures in Alaska, ending up with a large fortune. But later, when Jim encountered her in Salt Lake City, she was a "thin, hard-faced woman... She was satisfied with her success, but...

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This section contains 1,807 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the My Antonia Study Guide
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