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Welcome Back Today: Intro to My Ántonia by Willa Cather Intro to My Ántonia by Willa Cather –Historical context –Author bio –Discussion: Study Guide –First.

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome Back Today: Intro to My Ántonia by Willa Cather Intro to My Ántonia by Willa Cather –Historical context –Author bio –Discussion: Study Guide –First."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome Back Today: Intro to My Ántonia by Willa Cather Intro to My Ántonia by Willa Cather –Historical context –Author bio –Discussion: Study Guide –First 30 pages and close reading groups

2 Imagine you’re an immigrant in the U.S. in the late 19 th Century…

3 You land in a crowded eastern city where you have to share a stuffy, dirty room with a dozen other people…

4 In your native country, you never had any chance to own the property you worked, which was owned by a nobleman to whom you had to give most of your crops.

5 One day, you hear the U.S. government is giving away land to anyone who will farm it.

6 So you scrape together enough money to take your family west.

7 This is how you end up living.

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11 The Homestead Act (1892) “Westward Expansion”

12 Partner Share Share about a time when you faced a life change, move, etc (voluntary or involuntary). Share about a time when you faced a life change, move, etc (voluntary or involuntary). –Did you consider the change an “improvement” or a “downgrade”? –Did your perception of the change (before it happened) match the result (in retrospect)? –In what ways could it be viewed as positive AND challenging? Or exciting AND difficult? –In what ways did you grow or learn, as a result of the change?

13 Willa Cather ( ) At age 9, moved with family to Nebraska from Virginia At age 9, moved with family to Nebraska from Virginia Developed interest in “Old World” customs preserved in farmhouse kitchens by Czech, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, French, and German immigrants Developed interest in “Old World” customs preserved in farmhouse kitchens by Czech, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, French, and German immigrants Had the great advantage of growing up with books Had the great advantage of growing up with books

14 Willa Cather ( ) Important friendship with the Miner family; in their home, Cather met Annie Sadilek (inspiration for Antonia) Important friendship with the Miner family; in their home, Cather met Annie Sadilek (inspiration for Antonia) University of Nebraska; by senior year earning a name for herself as a writer University of Nebraska; by senior year earning a name for herself as a writer Became writer/editor for newspaper/magazines immediately after graduating Became writer/editor for newspaper/magazines immediately after graduating “Eric Hermannson’s Soul” sold to Cosmopolitan “Eric Hermannson’s Soul” sold to Cosmopolitan High School teacher High School teacher

15 Willa Cather ( ) By the end of WW1, she was recognized as a prominent literary figure in Amer. Lit. By the end of WW1, she was recognized as a prominent literary figure in Amer. Lit. By 1920s, she was a wealthy woman By 1920s, she was a wealthy woman Won Pulitzer Prize in 1923 for novel, One of Ours Won Pulitzer Prize in 1923 for novel, One of Ours

16 In Cather’s Nebraska… Population quadrupled between the Civil War and 1880 Population quadrupled between the Civil War and 1880 Doubled again in the 1880s Doubled again in the 1880s Low prices for farm products, compounded by drought in mid 1890s made life difficult on the Great Plains. Low prices for farm products, compounded by drought in mid 1890s made life difficult on the Great Plains.

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18 Dedication “Optima dies…prima fugit” Virgil

19 Virgil The best days are the first to flee.

20 “Frame story” The main story is introduced (‘framed’) by a short narrative by a different narrator. The main story is introduced (‘framed’) by a short narrative by a different narrator.

21 Introduction What are some significant differences between the 1918 and 1926 editions? What are some significant differences between the 1918 and 1926 editions? In what ways do you get different impressions of the characters, from the different editions? In what ways do you get different impressions of the characters, from the different editions? What are your theories on why she would have changed it (think historical changes). What are your theories on why she would have changed it (think historical changes).

22 Study Guide: Part 1 On your own or with your desk partner On your own or with your desk partner Keep individual answers- write in complete sentences. Keep individual answers- write in complete sentences. USE YOUR BOOK USE YOUR BOOK

23 What are you noticing? Themes Themes Characters Characters Literary Quality Literary Quality Symbols Symbols Garden Imagery Garden Imagery Connections to Whitman Connections to Whitman

24 Seasons What season was it, at the beginning of the novel? What season was it, at the beginning of the novel? What season is it, in your reading right now? What season is it, in your reading right now?

25 Close Reading Groups Select a group you are ready to work hard with: Select a group you are ready to work hard with: –Group Essay –Group Formal Presentation

26 Homework Read My Antonia, Book 1, Chapters 7-14 (30-67) Read My Antonia, Book 1, Chapters 7-14 (30-67) Complete study guide through Chapter 10. Complete study guide through Chapter 10. Collect/mark passages that illustrate your area of expertise from the beginning of the book through Chap. 14. Collect/mark passages that illustrate your area of expertise from the beginning of the book through Chap. 14.

27 The prairie-grass dividing, its special odor breathing, I demand of it the spiritual corresponding, Demand the most copious and close companionship of men, Demand the blades to rise of words, acts, beings, Those of the open atmosphere, coarse, sunlit, fresh, nutritious, Those that go their own gait, erect, stepping with freedom and command, leading not following, Those with a never-quell’d audacity, those with sweet and lusty flesh clear of taint, Those that look carelessly in the faces of Presidents and governors, as to say Who are you? Those of the earth-born passion, simple, never constrain’d, never obedient, Those of inland America. -Walt Whitman


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