Literary Friends by The Mrs

My Antonia

By: Willa Cather

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they make a literary friend.  You know what I’m talking about, you read a book and you instantly make a connection with a character from that book.  These friendships are priceless and the lessons they teach us unforgettable!

My first experience with this was as a child, when I read Charlotte’s Web.  I don’t know what it is about that book but honestly I’ve read it twenty times.  As a teacher I always made sure to read it to my class. It was a connection that I couldn’t keep just to myself.  Who doesn’t want to be like Charlotte, small and insignificant to many but powerful in the eyes of her true friends?  Charlotte is someone I am striving to become, a person so interested in others that she can make everyone see the good in them.  Charlotte’s words of “Some Pig,” “Terrific” and “Radiant” were life changing for little Wilbur and have always stuck with me in my interactions with others. Charlotte had traits I want to follow and because of that, Charlotte became my friend.

Well, my last book, “My Antonia”, now sits proudly upon my literary friend shelf.  If you haven’t read this book, you must!  Willa Cather is most famous for her work depicting Pioneer lifestyle while highlighting significant individuals who shaped her character. The book is primarily about a young boy Jim Burden and his life and interactions with an immigrant girl Antonia.  I’m not sure what it is that made me love Antonia more, her love of life, adventure and family or seeing the woman she became as she experienced hard things.  Jim upon seeing who his friend had become after years of adversity, called her “a rich mine of life.”  At the tail end of my life, I hope others would say that my mine is rich with life!  “My Antonia” left me wanting more and yet still feel a void as I ended the book.  I wish I could talk to Antonia and Jim and ask them questions about their lives and thank them for how they affected mine.  If you are looking for a glimpse into the simplicity of living and a great perspective on life in general, you need to add this book to your collection. It brought a renewal of childhood memories as I was walked through every paragraph with these characters. Jim and Antonia are now some of my dearest literary friends.