Pushing The Bear Analysis

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The Importance of Storytelling in Cherokee Culture
The Cherokee people, like all Native American tribes, possess an extensive, ancient oral history. Before European contact and the creation of the Cherokee syllabary, the only way the Cherokees could pass on the legends within their history was by word of mouth or in other words through storytelling. Their stories included justifications for the origin of Earth and mankind, good human morals and values, and Cherokee culture rituals. Diane Glancy, author of Pushing The Bear, does a great job in conveying the importance of storytelling in Cherokee culture. Glancy creates a story about cultural fragmentation and how the procession of the novel goes from being a disaster to being a success for the
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Many Cherokee people were worried that the Indian Removal Act would end their oral tradition, but Glancy reveals through the Basket Maker the importance of telling stories orally as a way to preserve the reality of history and as a way to maintain aspects of the Cherokee culture despite the Trail of Tears. The novel in itself is one large story, told through a multitude of voices, thus reinforcing Glancy’s idea of the necessity of this ritual which is equivalent to the creation of a new story. The story of the trickster turtle is also one of the most important stories in the novel, due to the fact that it is again later mentioned towards the end of the novel in comparison to the Cherokee nation. Quaty Lewis tells this story to the boys Mark and Ephum while they rest for the night somewhere on the trail. She makes it clear that she wants them to understand the story well “She spoke first in Cherokee, then English...So you won’t forget” (Glancy 194). This story is an anti-colonial allegory where the weak turtle (Cherokees) defeats the deer (Americans) and therefore survives the race bet. The story is about a deer racing a turtle, but the turtle
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