In American Indian Stories, University of Nebraska Press Lincoln and London edition, the author, Zitkala-Sa, tries to tell stories that depicted life growing up on a reservation. Her stories showed how Native Americans reacted to the white man’s ways of running the land and changing the life of Indians. “Zitkala-Sa was one of the early Indian writers to record tribal legends and tales from oral tradition” (back cover) is a great way to show that the author’s stories were based upon actual events in her life as a Dakota Sioux Indian. This essay will describe and analyze Native American life as described by Zitkala-Sa’s American Indian Stories, it will relate to Native Americans and their interactions with American societies, it will
Adjusting to another culture is a difficult concept, especially for children in their school classrooms. In Sherman Alexie’s, “Indian Education,” he discusses the different stages of a Native Americans childhood compared to his white counterparts. He is describing the schooling of a child, Victor, in an American Indian reservation, grade by grade. He uses a few different examples of satire and irony, in which could be viewed in completely different ways, expressing different feelings to the reader. Racism and bullying are both present throughout this essay between Indians and Americans. The Indian Americans have the stereotype of being unsuccessful and always being those that are left behind. Through Alexie’s negativity and humor in his
In a Bill Moyer’s interview “Sherman Alexie on Living Outside Borders”, Moyer’s interviews Native American author and poet Sherman Alexie. In the Moyer’s and Company interview, Alexie shares his story about the struggles that he endured during his time on a Native American reservation located at Wellpinit, Washington. During the interview, Alexie goes in-depth about his conflicts that plagued the reservation. In an award-winning book by Sherman Alexie called “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”, Alexie writes semi-autobiography that reveals his harsh life on the reservation through a fictional character named Arnold Spirit Junior. In Alexie’s semi-autobiography, Alexie shares his struggles of a poor and alcoholic family, the
Kind and selfish, deep and shallow, male and female, and foolish and wise aren’t always words that are associated with each other, quite the opposite in fact. However, when it comes to the trickster tales of Native Americans, each word is associated with the other and describes more or less the same person or animal. To Native American people a trickster affects the world for an infinite number of reasons, including instruction and enjoyment. A trickster, like the name implies, is a cunning deception. A trickster can be a hero. However, at the same time he could introduce death. How is that heroic? Why would a group of people want to remember a person that brings punishments such as death? The function the trickster tales have/ had on
Education —an institution for success, opportunity, and progress — is itself steeped in racism. In Sherman Alexie’s short story “Indian Education” from his book The Longer Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven is set in two places, the Spokane Indian Reservation and a farm town nearby the reservation. The story is written in a list of formative events chronologize Victor’s youth by depicting the most potent moment from each year he is in school. Alexie addresses the issue of racism in education by examining examples of injustice and discrimination over twelve years in a boy’s life. Victor faces his initial injustice in first grade when he is bullied by bigger kids, but his understanding of injustice becomes much more complex in grades two through twelve as he experiences discrimination against his American Indian identity. Familial experiences of a Native woman, Alexie’s style and humor, and Victor’s awareness of discrimination from grade one to twelve all reveal the grim reality of growing up and being schooled on an American Indian reservation.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a book about a young boy just entering high school who leaves his best friend and family to go to school mostly occupied by white people. This whole book follows him through his first year in this school where he tries to get a better education than he can get on the Rez, in the hopes that he will one day get off that reservation and out of his soul crushing poverty. “The Absolutely True diary of a Part-Time Indian” ATD, Sherman Alexie uses unfortunate events, social class and conversations to show that not everyone gets the support they need to follow their dreams.
This book, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie, is about a boy called Arnold Spirit aka Junior. He is a Native American that lives in an Indian Reservation. He isn't really satisfied with his life, since he's pretty poor, but he gets along. He doesn't really accept himself, since he has multiple medical problems, and he has been beaten up since he was little. When he starts to gain more friends in this new (American) school, he starts to like and accept himself more than before. In this book, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian" (by Sherman Alexie), the main theme is about Arnold trying to accept himself.
Traditions and old teachings are essential to Native American culture; however growing up in the modern west creates a distance and ignorance about one’s identity. In the beginning, the narrator is in the hospital while as his father lies on his death bed, when he than encounters fellow Native Americans. One of these men talks about an elderly Indian Scholar who paradoxically discussed identity, “She had taken nostalgia as her false idol-her thin blanket-and it was murdering her” (6). The nostalgia represents the old Native American ways. The woman can’t seem to let go of the past, which in turn creates confusion for the man to why she can’t let it go because she was lecturing “…separate indigenous literary identity which was ironic considering that she was speaking English in a room full of white professors”(6). The man’s ignorance with the elderly woman’s message creates a further cultural identity struggle. Once more in the hospital, the narrator talks to another Native American man who similarly feels a divide with his culture. “The Indian world is filled with charlatan, men and women who pretend…”
Throughout literature many pieces of work can be compared and contrasted to each other. In “Superman and Me,” Sherman Alexie discusses the challenges he faced as a young Indian adult, who found his passion of reading at an early age, living on the Spokane Indian Reservation. He challenged the stereotype of the young Indian students who were thought to be uneducated while living on a reservation. Likewise, in the excerpt from The Hunger of Memory, Richard Rodriguez shares his similar experience of being a minority and trying to break stereotypes of appearing uneducated. He shares the details of his life growing up learning a different culture and the struggles he faced becoming assimilated into American culture. In these two specific pieces of literature discuss the importance of breaking stereotypes of social and educational American standards and have similar occupational goals; on the other hand the two authors share their different family relationships.
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” Unfortunately Native Americans have deep roots with racism and oppression during the last 500 years. “In The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven,” Sherman Alexie tries to show racism in many ways in multiple of his short stories. These stories, engage our history from a Native American viewpoint. Many Native Americans were brutally forced out of their homes and onto Reservations that lacked resources. Later, Indian children were taken from their families and placed into school that were designed to, “Kill the Indian, save the man.” In the book there are multiple short story that are pieces that form a larger puzzle that shows the struggles and their effects on Native Americans. Sherman Alexie shows the many sides of racism, unfair justice and extermination policies and how imagination is key for Native American survival.
The Indians were very poor. They existed for only one reason, to work. The Spaniards forced them to farm the land or work the mines. Indians worked from dawn to dusk. Abuse of the Indians was common. They beat, tortured and even murdered the Indians, plus sheer exhaustion took their toll on the native population. The Colonists brought diseases such as smallpox, measles, typhus, chicken pox, and mumps. The Indians had no resistance to these diseases. Millions of Indians died. The Colonists left the Indians to die by taking their food. Fewer and fewer Indians were left. The Spaniards were in a panic as to who would work their fields and mines. They would turn to the African slaves.
He has done it through many different characters and genres of novels, but The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is probably his best work yet. Speaking as the character of a teen-ager forces Alexie to make everything action and emotion packed so that reading becomes more like listening to your funny best friend talking about his day while waiting for a ride home after school. That teen-aged boy, Arnold Spirit Jr. is arguably the geekiest Indian on the Spokane Reservation. He wears big, lopsided glasses, when he doesn’t stutter, he has a lisp, and when he goes outside he gets teased and picked on by the other kids on the reserve. Junior spends a lot of time in his room drawing cartoons.(Off the Rez) To say that life is hard on the Spokane Reservation doesn’t begin to touch it. “My parents came from poor people who came from poor people who came from poor people.” Junior explains.(Alexie 11) Heavily based on Alexie's own life experiences, this novel depicts struggles, corruption and the long-lasting effects of historical abuse toward Native Americans. Although Junior is a young adult, he must face the reality of living in absolute poverty, deal with the discrimination of the other people outside of the reservation, deal with a corrupt family that is often killed by alcoholism, break cultural barriers at an all-White high school, and maintain the
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is a novel about Arnold Spirit (Junior), a boy from the Spokane Indian Reservation who decides to attend high school outside the reservation in order to have a better future. During that first year at Reardan High School, Arnold has to find his place at his all-white school, cope with his best friend Rowdy and most of his tribe disowning him, and endure the deaths of his grandmother, his father’s best friend, and his sister. Alexie touches upon issues of identity, otherness, alcoholism, death, and poverty in order to stay true to his characters and the cultures within the story. Through the identification of the role of the self, identity, and social behavior
In Louise Erdrich’s Famous work of poetry, “Indian Boarding School: The Runaways”, shows how the context of the work and the author play major roles in understanding the poem from different aspects and angles to see between the lines of what we really call life. The Author Louise Erdrich is known for being one of the most significant writers of the second wave of the Native American Renaissance. She is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians and her writing on Native American literature is seen throughout the world. Through word decision, repetition, and symbolism bringing out her incredibly fierce tones, the author recalls the hurt and enduring impacts of Native American children being forced to attend Indian boarding schools. These schools emerged of a post-Civil War America in an effort to educate and also “civilize” the American Indian people.
This draws a connection to the erasure of Native American culture in history, they are seen as rare and different from the ordinary, and for some people their existence is completely forgotten or denied. His own comments of not belonging at a white school, because of his nationality and family history further show the division of race that he can see at Reardan. Junior’s cursing accentuates how frustrated and pathetic he feels, viewed as less than everyone at his school, and constantly rejected and isolated by his white peers. The negative, demeaning mindset of those white kids is that Native Americans do not deserve anything from white people, not their time, attention, care, or even a proficient education. According to Jens Manuel Krogstad at Pew Research Center, Native Americans have the second highest high school dropout rate- eleven percent. This is very high, especially when compared to the white or Asian dropout rates- five and three percent, respectively. Additionally, it says Native Americans have the second lowest percentage of bachelor’s degrees, only seventeen percent, compared to the two highest, white and Asian, at thirty three and fifty percent (Krogstad). Many Native Americans today are not allowed a chance at education because of poverty at reservations, and lousy, penniless schools. These issues are not thought about or spoken of often, because they are simply not