My Antonia

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Mr. Shimerda's Grave Symbol Analysis

Mr. Shimerda's Grave Symbol Icon
When Mr. Shimerda dies, he is buried in the prairie on what later becomes a crossroads. Jim says of his gravesite, "in all that country it was the spot most dear to me" because when all of the land has been cleared for farming, this "island" where two roads meet is the only place where the tall prairie grass still grows undisturbed. The gravesite is a remnant of the prairie in its purest form, and it symbolizes Ántonia's and Jim's longing for the past.
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Mr. Shimerda's Grave Symbol Timeline in My Antonia

The timeline below shows where the symbol Mr. Shimerda's Grave appears in My Antonia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 16
The Prairie Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
...that spot, and after all the prairie grass had been eventually cut up by farmers, the grave is the only place where the grass still grows. Jim says "in all that country... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 4
Friendship Theme Icon
The Prairie Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Innocence and Maturity Theme Icon
...Ántonia at the Shimerda's farm. She is thinner and looks "worked down." They sit near Mr. Shimerda's burial plot , and Jim tells Ántonia how he plans to practice law in New York City... (full context)