Henry C. Roman Nose: A Literary Analysis

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In the 1800s, Native Americans were oppressed because they were deemed to be “uncivilized” barbaric human beings. In order for Native Americans to become assimilated into the “white mans” culture of that time, Native American children were enrolled into boarding schools. Students in these boarding schools have had both positive and negative experiences. In the novel, Recovering Native American Writings in the Boarding School Press, by Jacqueline Emery, Henry Caruthers Roman Nose reflects on his experience in the boarding school through essays, and in the novel, American Indian Stories, Legends and Other Writings, Zitkala-Sa reflects on her experience through different types of writings. Despite how Henry Caruthers Roman Nose found boarding…show more content…
Both of their experiences were different because Caruthers became assimilated and in a way brainwashed by the boarding schools. For example, he says, “…I pray that he (god) will bless all our benighted race and show them their error and at last lead us with the white man’s good way is the prayer of Henry C. Roman Nose”(PAGE). I feel like this shows how he was brainwashed because he believes that the white man’s way is the right way to live, and the ways of his race are wrong. When he says, “our benighted race” I feel like he’s calling his race unintelligent, which shows how he was brainwashed. The boarding schools taught him that the Indians were unintelligent and barbaric, in order to make Nose into an agent for the schools. I thought the boarding schools were extremely oppressive and I found it to be heartbreaking that these innocent children were brainwashed and taught that their race had a negative connotation to it. Furthermore, I feel like Zitkala-Sa’s experience really shows how the boarding schools took away the identity of these children and left them traumatized for life. Reading about both of these experiences amplifies how oppressive and dehumanizing these boarding schools
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