Analysis of Susan Orlean's 'The Orchid Thief'

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THE ORCHID THIEF The Seminoles The Seminole Indians are a tribe of Native Americans who are based in Florida but have moved across further and also settled themselves in neighboring Oklahoma. Historically, the Seminole Indians have been successful traders, which are evidenced from their vast trading networks during the periods of Spanish and British colonization of the region. This explains their adeptness at facilitating the trade of rare orchid flowers from Florida to markets in other parts of the country and in the European countries. As a result of the Seminole Wars fought during 1818-1858, large numbers of Seminole Indians were displaced from their native Florida (Cattelino 22). Those that remained behind became staunchly protective of their identity, history, heritage and customs. This aspect of the Seminole Indians is also widely explored in the book: ""¦the Seminoles had their burning dedication to their history and culture"¦" (Orlean 40) In The Orchid Thief, the Seminole Indians are found to be collaborating with Laroche to smuggle the rare orchid flowers out of Florida. This may be indicative of their absolute passion for the flowers and disregard for the federal government. It also explains the economic conditions of the Seminole Indians that might have motivated them to take part in this extraordinary plan. This along with the fact that the Seminole Indians are extremely proud of their history and their land seems to point to a contradiction in their

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