Thursday, November 9th, 2017...3:47 pmRachel Lockwood

Negotiating the Terms

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Pg 148 from Ambrosch’s perspective, (although he most likely would not be thinking in English)

I scan the fields and watch Ántonia work. By now, she is strong with lean, farmer’s muscles. Her determination to be outside with the plants is not something that surprises me. My father’s extra love and admiration for her sparked this drive in her to be whomever she wants. Ironically, he would never want her doing this. I chuckle to myself. He’s dead now.

My attention shifts to the trip I must make to Black Hawk this afternoon. Mrs Harling is making preparations to have Ántonia move to Black Hawk to work for her. Does she not understand that Ántonia is mine? Does she not understand Ántonia must remain here, no matter what?

Later in Black Hawk

“Mrs. Harling do you not see that my family is in desperate need for this money. There is no reason that Ántonia should keep all of her allowances when she is being housed and fed by you. Plus, it isn’t proper for a woman like her to be working at all!”

“Ambrosch, listen to me. It is not proper for a woman to be doing the work she is doing in your house. A woman must know how to bake bread and clean up, not milk a cow. She will be learning more here than she will there, and earning every cent I give her. And to make sure of it, I will be keeping fifty dollars a year for Ántonia’s own use should she choose to use it.”

This woman will certainly make a fool of my sister. They will dress her in that unreasonable and make fun of her voice! Her skin is darker, her hair longer. She doesn’t think like they do. Certainly they want one of two things: to make my sister a joke or to turn her into another one of them. I won’t have either one. She will not be staying in Black Hawk. My father would never have wanted this either!

 “Fine, Ambrosch, I will pay your sister 3 dollars a week and and dress her as well. I expect her next week.”

We need those three dollars a week. Living here is bound to catch up with her at some point. I cannot have Ántonia for myself forever.

“That’ll do.”



2 Comments

  • This was a really creative way to approach the prompt! Ambrosch’s perspective was an interesting one to choose for exploration, and I think you did a great job of elaborating on a potential scene that wasn’t played out word-for-word in the text.

  •   Professor Seiler
    November 14th, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Rachel–what a great approach to this p.o.v. experiment! I’m with Melanie in valuing your imagination of a negotiation scene we don’t see, as well as your affording Ambrosch some humanity even amid his possessiveness. It strikes me that the most chilling line in your piece is this simple rumination: “He’s dead now.” Cold but true–and also pained.

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