My Antonia

My Antonia


Willa Cather

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My Antonia: Book 3, Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

One March evening during his sophomore year, Jim and Cleric read a passage from Virgil about "patria," which Cleric tells Jim is not meant to mean "country," as it is usually translated, but instead refers to the little rural neighborhood where Virgil was born.
Jim feels a connection to Virgil's nostalgia for his hometown. Jim realizes that his own memories will always be rooted in Black Hawk and the nearby prairie, which are his "patria."
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Literary Devices
That same night, Lena appears at Jim's door. She explains that she has opened a dressmaking shop in Lincoln and is finally able to build her mother a house. Jim asks about Ántonia, and Lena tells him Ántonia is working as a housekeeper at the hotel in Black Hawk and is engaged to Larry Donovan. Jim and Lena make plans to see each other again.
Though Lena and Ántonia are both immigrants, they are very different. Ántonia is content becoming a wife, but Lena is ambitious and wants independence, which she can only get through success and wealth.
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