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Literature Study GuidesMy ÁntoniaBook 5 Chapter 3 Summary

My Ántonia | Study Guide

Willa Cather

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My Ántonia | Book 5, Chapter 3 : Cuzak's Boys | Summary



The next day Jim says goodbye to take the train to Black Hawk. He promises to take two of the boys hunting the next summer, and he looks forward to spending more time with the Cuzaks in the future. In Black Hawk he finds things sadly changed, and he knows hardly anyone anymore. He wanders outside the town and feels more at home in the rural areas. On the road that once carried him and Ántonia to their new homes from the train station that first night in Black hawk, Jim realizes it "had been the road of Destiny" for the two of them. He understands that he and Ántonia will always share "together the precious, the incommunicable past."


In the final chapter of the novel, the author brings Jim and the story full circle. It ends where it began, on the road from the train station to his grandparent's farm, the place where he first saw Ántonia. At the beginning of the story, Jim was just arriving in Black Hawk, and at the end of the story he is leaving it. In both instances he knows hardly anyone in the town and feels like an outsider. The difference in the final chapter is the security he feels in his connection to Ántonia. He knows now that they are inextricably linked by their history. The "Destiny" they entered when they shared the road that night has linked them forever by "the precious, the incommunicable past." The novel ends in deep feeling and sympathy for life and nature.

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