Keeper N Me Character Analysis

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Conflict is an expressed struggle and it is ubiquitous by nature. Indigenous communities experience significant suffering and hardship due to conflicts planted by colonial oppression. Keeper’n Me, by Richard Wagamese, presents the epitome of internal conflict experienced by Indigenous people and communities. Wagamese illustrates this through Garnet Raven’s character, as well as his journey to overcome the lasting repercussions of colonial oppression. Garnet faces inner conflict due to cultural displacement experienced during his childhood. This results in a lack of stability, belonging, and identity in his life. Garnet encounters an inner conflict between balance and stability in his life due to isolation and seclusion from his own Indigenous …show more content…

The lack of proper Indigenous influence during Garnet’s upbringing results in severance from his original cultural identity. Garnet recalls his childhood experiences and the outside influences that caused him to lose his Indigenous culture: “Anyway, I lost touch with who I was pretty quick. Growing up in all-white homes, going to all-white schools, playing with all-white kids can get a guy to thinking and reacting all-white himself after a while. With no one pitching in any information I just figured I was a brown white guy” (Wagamese 17). Garnet’s non-Indigenous upbringing creates an inner conflict of identity. Garnet’s lack of information surrounding his Indigenous background forces him to conform to others’ identities, even though they are ill-suited. As well, Garnet discusses frustration about his identity with his siblings shortly after his arrival on the reserve, stating “[w]ell that’s kinda how I felt all my life. Pissed off because someone lost a few pieces of my puzzle- my life. Tried to make other pieces fit but they never did. Pissed me off even more” (Wagamese 65). The metaphorical missing puzzle piece represents Garnet’s lost Indigenous background, which he had attempted to supplant with other cultural facades that did not suffice. After years away from any proper and nurturing Indigenous influence, Garnet encounters an inner conflict of identity, and must learn how to recover and cherish his lost cultural

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