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By Rebecca West

Rebecca West’s beautiful debut novel: the category tale of a soldier’s amnesia and its impression at the girls in his life

A unusual girl arrives on the door with unsettling information for Jenny and her sister-in-law Kitty: Jenny’s husband has misplaced his reminiscence whereas scuffling with within the battle. As their solider returns domestic, the ladies observe that his brain is caught at the lady he enjoyed fifteen years before—the related girl who first introduced the scoop of his reminiscence loss. As they deal with him and react to this information, they arrive to appreciate the ability of love—past, current, unrequited, and unconditional.

Psychologically astute, West’s unforgettable first paintings of fiction finds her innate ability at figuring out what drives us to connect to the realm and the folks round us.

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Yet because this statement comes after a twenty-year separation, and because it is not spoken to Ɠntonia, it only serves to underscore the unconsummated state of their romance. An intimacy quickly springs up between Jim and Antonia shortly after they arrive in the farming region outside Black Hawk. Ɠntonia plays the immigrant eager to succeed in her adopted country and, in the first scene between them, she impatiently asks Jim to teach her English. Jim, all but ten, readily complies; after all, he is completely captivated by her brown eyes, which are 舠big and warm and full of light, like the sun shining on brown pools in the wood舡 (p.

In response, the narrator draws attention to the distinction between their male and female perspectives: I told him that how he knew her and felt her was exactly what I most wanted to know about Antonia. He had had opportunities that I, as a little girl who watched her come and go, had not (p. 5). On one level, the narrator is simply trying to reassure Jim that there is nothing wrong with writing about himself in the process of remembering Antonia, but Cather also seems to be offering an indirect justification for adopting a male persona in her novel.

You really are a part of me (p. 192). In response, Antonia wonders, How can it be like that, when you know so many people, and when I舗ve disappointed you so? Ain舗t it wonderful, Jim, how much people can mean to each other? I舗m so glad we had each other when we were little. I can舗t wait till my little girl舗s old enough to tell her about all the things we used to do. You舗ll always remember me when you think about old times, won舗t you? (p. 192). Once again, Cather keeps the two companions curiously beyond each other, while simultaneously insisting on their intimacy.

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