Thursday, November 9th, 2017...3:44 pmKara

Lena’s Visit (pg. 260-261)- a Hidden Motivation

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“I think I’d better go home and look after Ántonia,” he said. How annoying that he still cared for her.

“I think you had.” I looked up at him with a slight grin, hiding my disdain for the girl. “It’s a good thing the Harlings are friendly with her again. Larry’s afraid of them. They ship so much grain, they have influence with the railroad people. What are you studying?” Ántonia always bragged about how smart Jim was and how wealthy he’d be after school. I leaned my elbows on the table and drew his book towards me, leaving the tantalizing scent of my violet sachet in my wake. “So that’s Latin, is it? It looks hard. You do go to the theater sometimes, though, for I’ve seen you there. Don’t you just love a good play, Jim? I can’t stay at home in the evening if there’s one in town. I’d be willing to work like a slave, it seems to me, to live in a place where there are theaters.” I paused, waiting for an invitation.

“Let’s go to a show together sometime. You are going to let me come to see you, are n’t you?”

He was far too easy to manipulate. “Would you like to? I’d be ever so pleased. I’m never busy after six o’clock, and I let my sewing girls go at half-past five. I board, to save time, but sometimes I cook a chop for myself, and I’d be glad to cook one for you. Well,” -I began to put on my white gloves- “it’s been awful good to see you, Jim.” I flashed an innocent smile.

“You need n’t hurry, need you? You’ve hardly told me anything yet.”

“We can talk when you come to see me.” The trap had been set.


  •   Rachel Lockwood
    November 11th, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Kara. I really enjoyed reading this! I love how you incorporated what Lena might be thinking in this interaction with the actual dialogue. I really got a sense of just how aware and manipulative Lena is. I wonder if you could have added even more? I say that, but I also think the effectiveness of this is the simplicity. You show that Lena knows exactly what she is doing and isn’t trying to hide it. In a way, it reflects Jim’s lack of awareness in this scene, despite all of the intelligence Ántonia claims he has that Lena mentions in this scene.

  • Kara, I loved everything about this. Having recently started watching Riverdale, it was akin to the same feeling I had when I first saw Veronica. A woman who knows she’s attractive to get whatever she wants, so long as she presses the right buttons. The little details you weave into the dialogue, such as the “tantalizing scent” of her perfume, really serve to emphasize the manipulation of Jim and Lena’s subtle way of drawing him into her web. For all of his percieved intelligence, Jim is still clueless to female wiles.

  •   Professor Seiler
    November 14th, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Kara, this is a fantastic reimagining of this flirtation scene from Lena’s perspective. As Rachel and Sayahn both pick up on, Lena in your vision of her has a kind of knowledge that evades Jim, even as he understands himself to be a serious student. She’s also, as if of a sudden here, a FULL character, not background to Jim’s romance with/of Antonia. Well done.

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