Comparison Of Fanon And Lear In Radical Hope

Decent Essays

Changes are normally considered what push human society forwards, but some sudden and radical changes can be disastrous if people fail to adapt to them quickly. Fanon and Lear both discuss certain shifts so drastic as to shaken, if not destroy, people’s identity. Fanon discusses that after the transition from a colonized society to one that is independent, the colonized, without the common enemy, fail to define themselves as before. Similarly, Lear focuses on the confinement of an Indian tribe, the Crow, that deprived all the meaning of the Crow’s life. This paper will investigate the similarities and differences between the two transitions. Then, it will focus on the responses to such abrupt transition, by exploring how in each case the group …show more content…

In this book Lear explores the psychology of the Crow people, a native American tribe, that were confined by the U.S. government to a reservation. Lear in particular discusses a sentence that Plenty Coups, the Chief of the Crow Nation, says – “When the buffalo went away the hears of my people fell to the ground, and they could not lift them up again. After this nothing happened” (Lear, 2). Lear’s interpretation of “nothing happened” is that things lost their meaning after the Crow people were confined to the reservation. Originally, the life of the Crow was almost entirely occupied by acts related to their constant battle with other native American tribes, in particular the Sioux. For example, planting coups to mark the boundary and hitting enemies with coups were something significant in the traditional Crow life. Both of them were meaningful when the Crow were in constant antagonism with the Sioux, not only because they are beneficial for the survival of the Crow, but also because they were marks and indispensable components of a way of life. However, after the Crow were confined to the reservation and were forbidden by the U.S. government from battling with other tribes, both acts lost their meaning because of the disappearance of the enemy. Lear goes even further to doubt that if the sole purpose of simple acts such as cooking and eating is simply to get “ready for tomorrow’s battle”, then all such simple acts lose the meaning as well (Lear, 39). When the entirety of the Crow life stops to make sense, it is questionable whether there is still any Crow people (Lear,

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