It Was In The Olden Day Analysis

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Simon J. Ortiz’s poems This Is the Way Still We Shall Go On and It Is No Longer the Same as It Was in the Olden Days, in a way, share a never-give-up spirit which underlines a significant red thread in the life struggle of the Indigenous people throughout the history. From the literal reading, readers can easily feel the atmosphere of struggle built upon the two poems and the optimism toward the future. From the spirit felt, the readers can see how the poems remind us the importance of learning from the past, the tradition and the ancestors (the elders). Those poems, in my understanding, clearly show us the strong connection among the past, present, and the future where within these three spheres tradition and elders exist throughout each time.…show more content…
In other word, people in the past refers to their ancestors. While in the third line, “how they were guided, how they lived well,” (92) explicates a sense of guidance which in the Native American context embodied is as traditions, values, and beliefs in their everyday life. Further, the use of the word necessary, for example, asserts a sense of something that requires to be done. A mandatory feeling is somewhat felt that something is better to be done. The word gazing in the second line emphasizes the need to look at something carefully and intently. Simply put, the first stanza calls us to be attentive to the life before us, the past, the history. According to Nasson, “history is the study of the past to understand the meaning and the dynamics between the cause and the effect in the overall development of human resources” (1). It can be simply understood that by knowing and learning from history, people are able to make meaning and understand the process of human development. In this case, the understanding the history of the Native American is important in the effort to appreciate this poem more thoroughly since it gives us the background to set up connection of what the poem expresses by its words. Therefore, the first stanza can be assumed as the urge that we should consider what happened in the past as a significant point of learning. Ortiz himself “also recognizes…show more content…
A well lived ancestor is a good source of for today’s people. Learning how the ancestors live their life will help us to have today’s struggle. The first poem also suggests that following a good example of living a well life with guidance is the right way of living which is good for people. Talking about guidance in the discourse of Native American life, it will bring us to the elders. “Elders are important for their symbolic connection to the past, and for their knowledge of traditional way, teaching, stories, and ceremonies” (Stiegelbauer 39). Likewise, Clark and Sherman also note that “an elder is simply a man or woman, usually older than the others in the family and community, who, is widely recognized and highly respected for their wisdom and spiritual leadership” (14). Through the elders, people can make connection to the past, knowing and learning what is good for them. Further, Stiegelbauer adds that in Native American communities, it is common to call a respected elder to help them coming with decisions in managing issues of their everyday life like health, community development, government negotiation regarding land-use and self-government (39). In a similar vein, Clark and Sherman quoted Simon, a local figure in Pine Ridge Reservation and Makasan Presbyterian Church, elucidate that “elders are known for being the kind of people who have paid
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