Analysis Of Willa Cather 's My Antonia And Ole Rolvaag 's Giants

1853 Words Oct 25th, 2015 8 Pages
The United States is often portrayed as the land of great opportunity. Anything can be accomplished as long as one works hard enough to do so. Many people believe the prosperity of immigrants is tied to how completely they embrace this ideal of the American Dream. While often thought of in a modern context, this idea is seen in older works as well. In Willa Cather’s My Ántonia and Ole Rølvaag’s Giants in the Earth, the attitude with which immigrants approach their new lives decides how prosperous they become.
Many immigrants see the prairie as an opportunity, either for their families or for themselves. Immigrants in both My Ántonia and Giants in the Earth come to the United States in search of a better life. They are driven by a desire to create a better life for themselves and for their children. Immigrants in My Ántonia came to the prairie in search of a more prosperous life. The Shimerdas left Bohemia to give a better life to their son Ambrosch, which is shown when Ántonia tells Jim, “‘For Ambrosch my mama come here”’ (Cather 59). Immigrating to the United States gives Ambrosch opportunity he simply would not have in the old country. The future benefit to Ambrosch far outweighs the difficulties the Shimerdas must know they will face by migrating to the United States. While never particularly prosperous, the Shimerdas survive on the prairie because of this hope for a better future. The Russians Pavel and Peter also immigrate to the United States as they had no…

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