Ántonia's dancing gains her many admirers. Eager to get to the dances every night, she becomes irresponsible at work. One Saturday a man who is engaged to another girl tries to kiss Ántonia at her front door. Although Ántonia rebuffs him, Mr. Harling comes outside and tells Ántonia she is getting a reputation for being "easy," and if she wants to dance she cannot work in his house anymore. Though Mrs. Harling begs her not to, Ántonia quits her job and goes to work for Wick Cutter's family.
Ántonia's departure from the Harlings' house is a turning point in Jim and Ántonia's relationship. Now a physical distance separates her and Jim. Though by asserting her independence, Ántonia shows she's no longer a naïve girl controlled by her brother, it's clear to Jim she is making the wrong decision by working for the Cutters.