Flight And Smoke Signals Identity

1214 Words5 Pages
Raven Blanchette
LCS 381
Essay 1
October 12th, 2017

Flight and Smoke Signals Identity

In the wake of a gruesome history of displacement and mutilation of sacred customs and beliefs, native adolescents struggle with cultural and internal identity crises. When European nations discovered an already inhabited territory, capturing, raping, and murdering tribal members, the peace and tranquility of native tribes were dismantled and smothered in colonialism destruction. Native Americans enabled and guided the settlers to thrive, explore, and prosper on the flourishing land, while they were gifted in return forced relocation, stripped of their long indigenous hair, plagued with disease, and required to learn and practice European customs.
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But they’re not here and haven’t been for years, so I’m not really Irish or Indian. I’m a blank sky, a human solar eclipse.” Zits character is unable to connect with others or express emotion as a normal human being, because without a way to properly identify himself, it’s as if he is not living, able only to travel through time and live through the minds and bodies of others. In one of his time traveling experiences we see Zit encountering emotions and understanding the importance of connections. “I can feel his happiness. It makes me happy” (p. 116). After Zits is able to time travel and gain knowledge about native customs, family connections, and have the ability to experience emotion, he begins to understand his own identity. At the end of the novel Zits is able to grasp the importance of being true to yourself and embracing who you are, despite what the world around you conditions you to think. “I know that the world is still a cold and cruel place. I know that people will always go to war against each other. I know that I am a betrayer. But I’m beginning to think I’ve been given a chance… ‘Michael,’ I say. ‘My real name is Michael” (p. 181).
Zits struggles throughout the novel with an inability to identify with the world. He travels through time living in the bodies of other Native Americans throughout history. It’s as if he is blind to his own

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