Analysis Of Ohiyesa's The Soul Of The Indian

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Ohiyesa’s The Soul of the Indian gives a nostalgic critique on the encroachment of white civilization on the Native American culture, citing the parallelisms the two societies share and explaining the reasoning behind Native American rituals. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass gives a glimpse into the life of a slave, comparing the life of the free and the enslaved, and giving reason to the actions of the slave and slave master. Throughout each book, it becomes apparent that each has a common trait: the white population’s use of religion as a means for their cruelty. To clarify, religion is used as a justification for their respective instances of oppression, both the purge of Native Americans and Native American culture for Ohiyesa, and slavery for Douglass. Although they experience different systems of oppression, Douglass and Ohiyesa see how the corruption of religion can be used by the white majority to assert themselves as masters to their respective peoples. To defend this argument, I will compare how both authors demonstrate the use of religion as an overarching tool of persecution through the influencing of family, culture, and religion. Before investigating the connections between the authors, it is necessary to investigate the differences in their systems of oppression as a counter to the argument being presented. Ohiyesa lived in a time when white settlers were beginning to move across the United States and meet various Native
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