Identity In Thomas King's Short Story 'Borders'

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The group I was a part of was assigned a passage from Thomas King’s short story “Borders”. The short story followed a mother and son as they attempted to cross the border to visit the sister, who lived in Utah. The passage focused on the time that the mother and son spent at the border, due to their identification as being Blackfoot, and refusal to conform to identifying as Canadian or American. This passage is a central part of the story, since it addresses the issues of identity that the mother and son face regarding their identity of being Blackfoot. The assigned passage contained a prevailing number of linguistic elements, as well as symbolism. The linguistics elements consisted of syntax, grammar, and sentence structure. Moreover, the presence of the symbolism that was present in the passage unified the story, due to its allusion throughout the story.…show more content…
“One of the men bought me a Coke.” the Coke in this line symbolizes the acceptance of a Canadian or American citizenship, because it is being offered by the border officers (331). Fundamentally, the son’s acceptance of the coke is figurative of the boy’s alacrity to accept the identity of being Canadian as well as Blackfoot. However, the mother’s actions contradict her sons, as “[The] mother brought a couple of sandwiches from the car.” (331). This line illustrates the mother’s refusal to identify as anything other than Blackfoot, she does not see her identity as being any less sufficient than a citizenship. Furthermore, the inspector’s standpoint is also illustrated when “[the son] offered a part of [his sandwich] to Stella, but she said she wasn’t hungry.” (331). The sandwich is representative of the Blackfoot, as it was made by the mother, the inspector declining of the sandwich is symbolic of her refusal to accept Blackfoot as an acceptable
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