Ántonia's friend in Black Hawk and one of the "hired girls." She becomes Jim's girlfriend when they reunite in Lincoln while Jim is in college. While Jim loves Ántonia with a pure, childlike love, his attraction to Lena is sexual. A Norwegian immigrant, Lena aspires to earn money, success, and independence, and refuses to marry. She is sophisticated and fashionable, and she becomes a successful dressmaker in Lincoln. Lena later moves to San Francisco with Tiny Soderball.
Lena Lingard Quotes in My Antonia
The My Antonia quotes below are all either spoken by Lena Lingard or refer to Lena Lingard. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Signet Classics edition of My Antonia published in 2014.).
Book 2, Chapter 9 Quotes
If I told my schoolmates that Lena Lingard's grandfather was a clergyman, and much respected in Norway, they looked at me blankly. What did it matter? All foreigners were ignorant people who couldn't speak English.
Book 4, Chapter 1 Quotes
I was bitterly disappointed in her [Ántonia]. I could not forgive her for becoming an object of pity, while Lena Lingard, for whom people had always foretold trouble, was now the leading dressmaker of Lincoln, much respected in Black Hawk.
Lena Lingard Character Timeline in My Antonia
The timeline below shows where the character Lena Lingard appears in My Antonia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 2, Chapter 4
Book 2, Chapter 5
Book 2, Chapter 7
Book 2, Chapter 9
Book 2, Chapter 12
Book 2, Chapter 14
...time inside studying, preparing for university. He only takes a break from studying when Ántonia, Lena, and their friends invite him to the river to pick elder flowers. Jim arrives early... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 2
Book 3, Chapter 3
Book 3, Chapter 4
Book 5, Chapter 1