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Assimilation Of The Indians Analysis

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Indians have been living in misery for centuries now, in reservations drowned in problems like alcoholism, drugs, and illiteracy. The white government has made inumerous attempts to try to assimilate them into the US mainstream population. The effects felt by the Indian reservations due to the negative consequences of white actions are unimaginably devastating. Native Americans have to rely on the government in order to survive, and sometimes that 's still not enough. Their lives have been shaped by the government so much that the effects of the past actions made by the whites have become substantially irreversible, forcing the Native American population to suffer and make sacrificing choices in order to live in the present world. Moreover,…show more content…
As a starting point, Arnold’s family, friends, and figures of authority in the reservation are clear evidence and reflection that the government 's attempt to assimilate the Indian population to the US society led to the destruction of the Indian culture. One of the most infamous attempts at assimilation made by the white society were the residential schools. Residential schools were places where Indians were taught to forget who they were and had a main motto that stated, “Kill the Indian, but save the person.” (Assimilation of Native Americans). In the novel, after Arnold threw a book on Mr. P’s face, they have a talk about the incident in Arnold’s porch. Mr. P tells him that teachers, including himself, “...were trying to kill Indian culture." (35). Mr. P, a white teacher in Arnold 's reservation hired to teach Indians how to be civilized, or in other words hired to assimilate Indians, confesses his goal was to destroy the Indian culture. The fact that he did that through his teachings shows how the assimilation process in the US was targeted at changing Indians permanently,…show more content…
P and discussion with his parents illustrates the fact that the assimilation of Indians and the white’s acts to control the Indian community left their reservations with no opportunities or hope and created a mindset in their society that success is only found outside of them. Once again, when Arnold is talking to Mr. P on his porch, his teacher states, “The only thing you kids are being taught is how to give up” (42). Moreover, when Arnold asks him who has hope and where he can find hope, Mr. P explains, “You 're going to find more and more hope the farther and farther you walk away from this sad, sad, sad reservation.” (43). Mr. P uses the term "taught" in his talk with Arnold to show that this mindset of hopelessness comes from his education, his school, established in his community by the white population. Mr. P 's second statement further emphasizes the understanding that because of the consequences that arose due to the attempt to control the Indian community made by the US mainstream population, Indians are now left with miserable, hopeless lives and their only way of finding hope is by leaving everything they know behind and seeking a new life outside their reservations. Moreover, a quote by a Native American teacher from the Rosebud Reservation states, “...there is a feeling that you have to leave the reservation to strive…” (Siegler). Not only do teachers think Indians need to leave the reservation to strive, even Indians
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