Decent Essays
How do racist attitudes towards Indians contribute to the catastrophe that overtakes the Hayden family? Racism is an underlying force in the Novel Montana 1948, written by Larry Watson. The racist attitudes shown towards the Indians in Bentrock escalate to a point where a catastrophe overtakes the Hayden Family. In the town Bentrock in 1948, it was accustomed that racial attitudes towards the Indians were apart of the culture and nature of the town. Marie Little Soldier’s confession about Frank’s antics could prove to be a vital point when all the secrets started to unravel and eventually contributed to the catastrophe that took over the Hayden family. Gail Hayden, David’s mother, comes from a completely different region with different…show more content…
Word around Bentrock was that Frank Hayden has been abusing the trust of being a qualified doctor by exploiting Indian women. Marie confesses to Gail about Frank’s antics and Gail eventually tells her husband about the confession. “The reason, Wesley, the reason Marie didn’t want to be examined by Frank is that he- he has… is that your brother has molested Indian girls.” This secret acts as a breaking point for many other secrets to be exposed that eventually contribute to the catastrophe. Gail begins to unpack what has been going on in Bentrock. Gail Hayden comes from North Dakota, a place with different morals and values compared to Bentrock. She is able to see the racist attitudes shown towards Indians in a different light and believes it is wrong because she has been brought up in a different culture. She sees things differently than the natives in Bentrock and is able to decipher the racial propaganda. Her influence on Wes, making him investigate the allegations, could prove to be a major contribution to the catastrophe that overtakes the Hayden family. “That is not the way it works. You know that. Sins- crimes- are not supposed to go unpunished.” This quote shows her kind nature and the difference between her morals and values compared to a Bentrock native. She could prove to be a factor in the catastrophe, but could it solely be the Hayden’s to blame? The Hayden family was able to
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