My Antonia

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The Plough Symbol Icon
The plough, a symbol of the farm work the Shimerdas and the Burdens do on the prairie, symbolizes man's "beautiful and harmonious" connection to the land. At the end of Book 2, before Jim leaves Black Hawk for college, he sees a plough silhouetted in the circle of the red sun setting behind it. The sky quickly grows dark, and the plough disappears from view. This image suggests Jim's impending separation from Ántonia—while Ántonia remains on the prairie, Jim leaves for good. The change also foreshadows the changes that the development of farming will inflict on the natural prairie landscape.
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The Plough Symbol Timeline in My Antonia

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Plough appears in My Antonia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 2, Chapter 14
The Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Prairie Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Innocence and Maturity Theme Icon
...magnified by the red sun sinking behind it. They realize that the figure is a plough left in the field that is now "exactly contained within the circle of the disk."... (full context)