Book Review My Antonia


In the book My Antonia, the treatment of women is portrayed differently than in modern times. The book My Antonia is set in a time period where women were seen as objects and were told what to do, this is very different from modern times where there are empowering women everywhere doing what used to be considered as “job for a man”. 

In the book, Antonia starts to work in the field to help her family pay for food and clothes after her father dies. The society's views in this time zone causes Jim’s grandmother to tell Antonia that working in the fields is a man's job, and Antonia should be working in the garden or the kitchen. Antonia's response to Jim's grandmother is “I not care that your grandmother say it makes me like a man. I like to be like a man” (Antonia, pg. 92). This shows that society in this time zone did not even allow women to work in the field, even if they needed to support their family. A woman who wanted to support her family had to go into town to work and make money. 

Second, the women were expected to work in the kitchen all day. Antonia was not forced to work in the kitchen, but there were no other jobs around town that let her do something that was not for her gender. So in order to make money, she did something that made her less happy than she was working outside at the farm. “....I will ask Antonia to come over and help you in the kitchen. She will be glad to earn something, and it will be a good time to end misunderstandings…” (Antonia, pg. 89), this quote shows how they would just assume that since Antonia was a girl, she would work inside. 

Finally Antonia, and most of the girls in the book did not seek higher education, such as college, and most dropped out to work in the kitchen or to start a family. However, Jim was able to go to college, so he was probably able to get a higher paying job and live a better quality of life when Antonia probably wished she could have done that too so she could support her family. 

In conclusion, the way women were viewed in the book My Antonia is much different from society views today. The world and its views keep on changing and evolving for the better. Society's views of women have improved from the time zone this book was written in, but the world has much farther to go to make women and men completely equal.