Analysis Of Francis La Flesche's The Middle Five Indiana Boys At School

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Boarding schools natives often center on the abuses, removal of cultural beliefs and symbols, and the pupils disconnection with their Native American identities. Although these factors are at play in Francis La Flesche’s memoire, The Middle Five Indiana Boys at School presents a different focus. He writes, “to reveal the rue nature and character of the Indian boy” by telling the story of his schoolmates (Preface). The narrative brings the lives of the Middle Five to life with their boyhood adventures and experiences described in their words. Throughout the narrative, La Flesche’s shows the significance of traditional Omaha life in his and his friend’s experiences through the words and examples of their families. Families were central to …show more content…

Brush was unique among the Middle Five gang as he was a boy without a family. He parents and grandparents died when he was young, and this had a profound impact on Brush. Even though his grandfather, Tae-son, was a chief and friends with La Flesche’s father, he did not have a place to belong in Omaha society. His home was the school (Chapter 2). Le Flesche was egger to bring his friend home on a weekend, and when Brush arrived, Le Flesche’s father honored him and his family. After Brush won a horse race at Make-believe white-men village, Le Flesche’s father asked who Brush was. Brush explained that he was Tae-son’s grandson and friends with Le Flesche. Le Flesche’s father honored Brush and his family, “Your grandfather was my friend…I am glad you like the company of my boy. You must always come with him on his visits home from the House of Teaching” (Chapter 2). This declaration of friendship and belonging brought Brush to tears. The boy who did not have a family or home suddenly belonged and had a home. He once again had a tangible link to his Omaha culture. Brush’s trip to Le Flesche’s home presents another significance of parents in Omaha life. On their way home from school, Le Flesche and Brush watched white boys eat pemmican off of an Omaha grave without consideration for the dead or their families. The

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