Braids In A Yellow Raft In Blue Water

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Braids are an everyday occurrence. They are a girl’s hairstyle of choice, or decoration on clothing. However, majority of people just interpret braids for what they are: three woven strands of a material. The everyday person does not even consider the history behind the braid, or how it can symbolizes relationships or other items, how it can assist tying a story together and make it cohesive. Braids are deeper in significance than simple an accessory. For example, the Sioux tribe used braids as a way to display their courage, Michael Dorris in A Yellow Raft in Blue Water weaved the stories of three women through braids, and I was able to create my own braid that represented my family. The Sioux tribe of the Dakotas are an old Native American…show more content…
Throughout the novel, he slyly included braids innocent instances. These instances did not have much to read into separately, but had an overall effect near the conclusion of the novel.The braid symbol displayed how much the three narrations would not be as strong alone. The most prominent use of the braid is the last line of the novel, “...he did not identify the rhythm of three strands, the whispers of coming and going, of twisting and tying and blending, of catching and of letting go, of braiding,” (Dorris 372). In this particular passage, the braid represents how the stories of Rayona, Christine, and Ida all weave together to create one conclusive story. How, like a braid, the story needed all the parts to overlap to make sense and hold together soundly. The story told by the three women can only be told if all three are told together, since they form a larger story than expected at first glance. This symbol can first be recognized in chapter fourteen, “I twisted her hair tighter, my fingers working automatically, catching, blending, creating traps for the loose strand,” (Dorris 237). This passage is when Rayona and Christine’s stories first overlap, starting to weave the symbolical braid of the three narrations. Dorris’s decision to have braids be a symbol in A Yellow Raft in Blue Water was masterfully done, as the subtly to it displayed just how vital each women’s story was to the others. Without the braid symbol, the strength of how the stories overlapped would have been lost. Although not effective instantly, the symbol did have a powerful effect by the novel’s
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