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Thoughts on today's pages: June 18

I am enjoying Cather's subtle way of comparing cultures and showing how circumstances affect the way people behave. The linking of these two moments: the weather is a bit warmer and these two bulls start going at each other. As Cather relates, they would have torn each other to pieces if they had not been dehorned. Then it starts snowing again, the worst snow they've seen in ten years, and the family and the livestock are all stuck in their frozen homes. Otto makes some comment about the gathered herd and the ferocious bulls now warming each other's backs. "This'll take the bile out of 'em!". This scene comes directly after Antonia's mother comes over to visit the Burden's home, angry that no one is helping her family which is suffering from lack of food, warm shelter and farming knowledge. After she leaves, Jim is annoyed with the arrogance of her demands, but Jim's grandmother reminds him that no one knows what traits will emerge when people experience poverty.