The mood of My Àntonia is quite consistent throughout, as it's characterized by journalistic recounting of the details of everyday life punctuated by emotional descriptions of interactions and landscapes. Jim's narrative brings the reader close to his love of the land, his feelings for his romantic interests, and the highs and lows of his personal development.
Despite Àntonia Shimerda's poverty and muddied reputation, Jim admires her resilience and strength of character, and so the reader is invited to do the same. His reflections on these feelings invite Cather's audience to feel a sense of nostalgia and longing. These yearnings are only amplified as Jim's relationships become more nuanced and complicated by his growing maturity, his distance from Nebraska as an adult, and the passing of time.
The novel's mood is also often reflective and serious, with the characters facing many challenges in their lives. For example, the Shimerda family struggles to make ends meet throughout much of the novel, making the reader feel concerned and pitying of their unfortunate state of affairs. They ultimately experience tragedy alongside Àntonia and her siblings when Mr. Shimerda commits suicide. Jim's reflections on this event and the reverberations it has through the prairie community make the reader think about the nature of grief, the cycles of life and death, and the roles parents play in their children's development.
However, the novel's mood is ultimately quite hopeful. Jim's sense of connection with Àntonia endures after he leaves Black Hawk, despite the distance between them. The novel ends on a smiling and nostalgic note as Jim returns to Nebraska and is reunited with his childhood memories, finding that his connection with Àntonia and with his childhood hasn't been destroyed by the passing of time.