Heritage By Linda Hogan Summary

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In the poem Heritage by Linda Hogan, Hogan uses the tone of the speaker to demonstrate the shame and hatred she has toward her family, but also her desire to learn about her family’s original heritage. The speaker describes each family member and how they represent their heritage. When describing each member, the speaker’s tone changes based on how she feels about them. The reader can identify the tone by Hogan’s word choices and the positive and negative outlooks on each member of the family. At the beginning of the poem, the speaker has a tone that demonstrates aggravation and shame towards her mother. During the description of the mother, Hogan worded it in a way the reader could interpret as a negative connotation, which was later made clearer when Hogan pronounced the Grandmother’s hatred toward the white settlers. The speaker’s father, uncle, Grandfather, and Grandmother were all Native Americans, who were constantly removed from their land, where their farms and homes were destroyed by the prospective oil dreamers. “It was the brown stain that covered my white skirt, my whiteness a shame” (28) By inserting this line into the poem, Hogan was able to show what the speaker was really thinking. A lesser author would have put that line at the beginning of the poem, leaving no imagination for the reader. After talking to all of her relatives, the speaker’s grandmother made the biggest impact her, settling her opinion about her mother’s heritage. The speaker’s hatred

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