The novel My Antonia, is a novel that is full of stories, but the most central story is the one of Jim and Antonia and their growth from childhood to their adulthood. Each character follows a different path to adulthood, each with their own influences and obstacles. I will focus on Antonia and Jim's coming of age throughout the novel, My Antonia.
Antonia's coming of age was more difficult than Jim's coming of age, and for more than just one reason. Antonia's family immigrated to the United States from Bohemia. When Antonia's family finally made it onto the shore of the United States, her family decided to continue moving until they reached Nebraska. The family had to stay strong throughout the trip or else they would have split upon reaching their final destination of their new home. It is this same sense of family that probably had the biggest influence on Antonia's future. Her mom was a very demanding woman who wanted nothing but the best for her family and stopped at nothing to make sure that they were all better off. The father of the family had established a successful textile outlet in Bohemia, and he provided the family with a comfortable life style. The mother was determined that there were better places for her kids to grow and receive an education as well as a brighter future as a result of this educa!.
tion, so she persuaded the father to give up his business and move to America. There she hoped that her oldest son and daughter could have a better life. This influenced Antonia in the future to always have a very strong desire to succeed and her desire to help out the family. The way Antonia showed this was by how hard she worked when she actually had a job. When she got a job in the fields, she was working just as hard as any of the guys were. Grandmother had said, "Heavy field work'll spoil that girl. She'll lose all her nice ways and get rough ones- (My Antonia 99).