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Thomson Highway's The Rez Sisters Essay

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Thomson Highway's The Rez Sisters
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The play The Rez Sisters is written by one of Canada's most celebrated playwrights, Tomson Highway. Highway was born in 1951 in northwestern Manitoba. He went on to study at the University of Manitoba and graduated from the University of Western Ontario, with honors in Music and English. Native Literature is inspired by 'contemporary social problems facing native Canadians today; alcohol and drug abuse, suicide, wife battering, family violence, the racism of the justice system, loneliness, rejection, youth awareness, as well as modern-day environmental issues.';(P. 172 Native Literature in Canada.) Highway once said, 'We grew up with myths. They're the core of our identity as
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174 Native Literature in Canada.)

The play involves seven very lively and funny women, who live on the Wasaychigan Hill Indian Reserve, Manitoulin Island, Ontario. Their lives consist of knowing everybody's business. 'Nothing is private or sacred to them, they know each other's sex habits, health problems, family histories and daily routines.'; (P. 174 Native Literature in Canada.) When they play begins we are given an over view of what it like on the reserve by a pictorous description, 'from here I can see half of Manitoulin Island?I can see the chimneys, the tops of apple trees, the garbage heap behind Big Joey's dumpy little house?';(P. 2 The Rez Sisters) The reserve has a bit of everything, a good side and a bad side.

During the play we learn that the Rez Sisters make life bearable on the reserve by playing bingo. From this we learn about their lives and dreams. We learn what they want individually in life, and where they would go and what they would do if they had the opportunity. The play gives the reader in sight to what each of the woman want. Marie-Adele is a 39-year-old woman who says if she had the money she would, 'Buy an island.'; (P. 36 The Rez Sisters) I fell she wants this because she wants to escape from everybody, the reserve and from the regular population. Veronique is the mother of one of the other characters in the play, Zahaboonigan, who is mentally disabled. Veronique wants to buy
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