Ambition Seen in My Antonia by Willa Cather Essay

With progress comes success, and with success comes ambition, a force that has been around for a while. Through both good and bad (or evil) ambition our world was born and it’s through ambition that we live our life today. But is it physically and mentally healthy? Yes and No. Ambition can either make or break your day for it can bring utter happiness or utter destruction. It has no size and depending on the person’s aspirations or ego it can bring utter happiness or utter destruction.

Impatience is also a result of ambition. But like I said before ambition is not all that bad, on the contrary it can guide one to success, which is another step to acquiring the American Dream. Ambition goes hand in hand with progress, self-reliance, and individualism, some of the tenets for an American Dream. In Willa Cather’s My Antonia, Tiny Soderball showed the most in any of the other characters as being a very ambitious person. She was a Swedish immigrant who was determined to go after any aspirations that she had.

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Jim Burden regarded her as “Tiny Soderball was to lead the most adventurous life and to achieve the most solid worldly success” (pg 192) and that was because she was so ambitious. In the beginning, sh Where would we be without ambition? Probably nowhere, because if it weren’t for ambition and the notion to conquer and gain power mankind would have no desires or aspirations to do better or get more. Ambition is the force that pushes everyone to carry out his or her every-day life routines.

It can be great or small but it still is ambition. It can be good to you or destroy you and that depends on the risks and size of your desires. In Willa Cather’s My Antonia, Tiny Soderball a Swedish immigrant who was once a “Hired Girl” gained success through ambition, determination and persistence. Tiny earning success also enabled her to reach her America Dream. And when it all comes down to it, we all are trying to reach our American Dream and ambition is a step to acquiring that.

As the story goes on, Tiny’s ambition starts to pick up and grow quickly. She goes from cooking for men in a tent to selling that to “… invest half her money in Dawson building lots, and with the rest she developed her claim…traded or sold them on percentages”(pg. 193). She spent ten years in the Klondike, working up her fortune and that was not going to be the end of it. Her ambition was to grow larger for there was not stopping now.


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