Grand Avenue Essay

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Grand Avenue

In the novel Grand Avenue. Greg Sarris uses the theme thread of poison to connect all of his separate stories about the Toms’, a Pomo Indian family. He proves that the roots of a family are the basis which gives the family its structure, even if those roots are bad. In the Toms’ family they’re roots were poisoned from the very founding of the family starting with Sam Toms’. His poison was not the fact that he tried to steal a married woman away, but that he was filled with secrets, deceptions, and self hatred. His family was founded on these poisened roots and passes the poisen down generation after gerneration. The only way to stop the poison, or inner self hatred taken out in other forms, was to let go of past and
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Faye never took responsibly for her wrong actions. She blambed all her faults on outside sources, such as her Uncle who poisoned the family, and men in general; never herself. If Faye simply spoke of her past, apologized to Anna, and moved onto the future instead of living in the past, than this “poison” would have been stopped. But her family raised her not to speak about her mistakes. Her whole family, starting at the roots was based on secrets and living in the past. She chose to follow the family roots, in doing so she passed on the poison to her daughter Ruby and Jasmine, instilling in them the practice of keeping secrets and blaming outside sourses for bad things in their life.

In the ninth story, The Secret Letters, we learned about Steven Pen, ho is poisoned by his seacret son whom he had with Pauline. Unfotuantly for Steven, his father had a secret also. Pauline was his secret daughter, which meant that Pauline and Steven were half brother and sister. Steven is different than some of the others the family, although for the most part of the story he is poisoned, he was able to, in the end rid his inner poison. Steven Pen, who is the speaker, was never told that Pauline was his sister. They had a child together out of wedlock. Steve was told by his father to forget about Pauline; he listened to his father and stood her up. Steven moved on with his life yet his secret poison stayed with him and grew stronger. The
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