Winter arrives, beautiful but bitterly cold. After the first snowfall, Jim rides to the Shimerdas' house on a sleigh Otto has built for him. He takes Ántonia and Yulka on a ride, but they become very cold because they do not have warm enough clothes. Jim lends them some of his clothing.
Ántonia and Yulka's lack of warm clothes is a sign of their poverty and suggests they will have a difficult winter.
Although Jim is also growing colder on the sleigh ride, he is too proud to show it. When he brings Ántonia and Yulka home he refuses to warm himself by their fire. The next day he comes down with "quinsy," an infection of the tonsils.
It's important to Jim to play the masculine role and refuse to admit weakness. He learns the hard way that the land he loves can also be dangerous.
Stuck inside for two weeks, Jim eagerly awaits the return of the men from the fields each night. He admires how resilient and hardworking Jake, Otto and his grandfather are, and that they never complain.
Strong capable men serve as Jim's role models. He tries to live up to their masculine ideal in his interactions with Ántonia.