Monday, April 23rd, 2018...12:45 amMarissa

Experimenting With Point of View in “My Ántonia”

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The passage that I thought would be interesting from another point of view is on pages 134 and 135, where Jim is talking to Ántonia after their family’s feud.

I changed the point of view from Jim’s point of view to Ántonia’s point of view.

All about us we could hear the felty beat of raindrops on the soft dust of the farmyard. Grandmother came to the door and said it was late, and we would get wet out there.

“In a minute we come,” I called back to her. “I like your grandmother and all things here,” I sighed. “I wish my papa live to see this summer. I wish no winter ever come again.”

“It will be summer a long while yet,” Jim reassured her. “Why are n’t you always nice like this, Tony?”

“How nice?”

“Why, just like this; like yourself. Why do you all the time try to be like Ambrosch?”

I put my arms under my head and lay back, looking up at the sky. “If I live here, like you, that is different. Things will be easy for you. But they will be hard for us.”


I think that if this story was told from the point of view of Ántonia then we would miss so many aspects of Jim’s life. The story would be less about Jim’s family, and more about the idea that Ántonia’s family was struggling with their new life on the farmland that they bought. I think that it would be a totally different story. I almost think that if this story was told from the point of view of Ántonia then the title might be My Jim Burden. I think that straying away from telling the story from Jim’s family’s point of view would drastically change the story because there would be less known about what happens within the family because the narration would be limited. I think that it would be interesting to hear this story completely written from another point of view, but at the same time, I really love the story from the point of view of Jim and I would hate to lose some aspects of him because it was told from another point of view. By having Jim as the narrator right now, we learn more about the inner workings of his family, where as with Ántonia as the narrator we would know more about the inner workings of her family instead.


  •   Professor Seiler
    April 24th, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Marissa, I appreciate your reflection on the gains/losses of replacing Jim with Ántonia as narrator, losses that perhaps come into sharpest focus when we see these two characters in a scene together… Do you sense that Ántonia would also see the inner workings of Jim’s family differently?

  • I think that both of us choosing the same scene definitely speaks to the level of misunderstanding caught in the feud. I agree that if told from Antonia’s perspective, the story would be more about the family’s struggle on the farmland, but more so about immigration in general. One thing I was thinking of while writing my blog post was if the story would be told in broken English or not? Would it even be in English in the first place? Obviously, we won’t be able to see the extent to which Antonia learns English until maybe the end of the book, but I was just wondering about this. I wonder about if the title would be “My Jim Burden” because we don’t fully know the impact Jim has on Antonia and certainly in this scene, she doesn’t seem to be obsessed with Jim to the point that he is with her.

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