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“The Bohemian Paradox: PowerPoint Presentation
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“The Bohemian Paradox:

“The Bohemian Paradox:

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“The Bohemian Paradox:

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  1. “The Bohemian Paradox: My Ántonia and Popular Images of Czech Immigrants” By Tim Prchal And Willa Cather’s views of the Czech Immigrants Presented by Brittany Wallack

  2. Americans’ views [stereotypes] of Czech immigrants • Inarticulate • Illiterate • Undesirable • Resistant to assimilation (qtd. in Prchal 4, 6, 7).

  3. Old Immigrants English Dutch Germans Scandinavians Others from northern and western Europe New Immigrants Czechs Hungarians Polish Italians Greeks Others from southern and eastern Europe (Prchal 5-6).

  4. “ . . . [M]illions of foreigners have poured into our midst from central and southern Europe and Asia Minor: Italians, . . . Poles, Russians, Bohemians, . . . --- most of them . . . passive, inarticulate, and illiterate agriculturalists by inheritance . . . .These people differ fundamentally from the more intelligent and efficient Northern races . . . ” (qtd. in Prchal 6). (The quote immediately above this note first appeared in a 1910 McClure’s article written by Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant.)

  5. Willa Cather’s Views • My Ántonia is seen as her response to reshaping the image of Czech immigrants. • Cather presented “Czechs and their efforts to resist assimilation in a positive light” (Prchal 4). • My Ántonia contradicts the view that the Czechs are passive, inarticulate, and illiterate. • Cather places Czech immigrants as equals with old immigrants.

  6. “Many of our Czech immigrants are people of a very superior type” (Cather “Nebraska” 256). “The political emigration . . . brought to the United States brilliant young men both from Germany and Bohemia” (257). From Cather’s feature article “Nebraska” reprinted in My Ántonia. Appendix C. Ed. Joseph R. Urgo. Cather states that immigrants “have come here to live in the sense that they lived in the Old World, and if they were let alone their lives might turn into the beautiful ways of their homeland” (qtd. in Prchal 4).