Charles Kirsch 1/20/23 Ms. Rodriguez English 10-4 A Woman’s Right to Choose: The Effects of Systemic Prejudice in There, There There, There by Tommy Orange tells the interconnected stories of several Native American people who live (or end up living) in Oakland, California. Jacquie Red Feather, part of a family line that ends up tying together many of the characters, is a very recently recovering alcoholic who works as a substance abuse counselor. She has suffered many traumas ranging from rape to the suicide of her daughter, and, in the first chapter narrated by her in the book, is finding her path to sobriety and responsibility. Growing up as a Native American girl made Jacquie especially vulnerable to societal and interpersonal oppression, …show more content…
After her daughter’s suicide, Jacquie fell so deeply into alcoholism that her sister Opal ended up adopting her three grandchildren. In her initial chapter, she is, as a newly sober person, in the process of deciding to move back to Oakland and be with those family members. In a climactic moment, Jacquie wraps up bottles of alcohol from the hotel in a towel and brings them down to the pool with her, as if to save them. She ends up doing the opposite: “Jacquie got out of the pool and went to the towel. She heaved the bundle back, then threw it high into the air, into the water….She watched the bottles sink to the bottom…The text she sent to Opal was just this: If i come to oakland, can i stay?” (117). Earlier in the book, Jacquie states the ways in which both alcoholism and her life on the road make things easier for her: she’s gotten so used to drinking after the depression caused by her rape and pregnancy that she depends on it for sleep, and the lack of stability that her shifting circumstances have left her with from childhood on has also meant she hasn’t had to make a real commitment to any one set of circumstances. In the passage, though, she reveals a sense of relief about giving up both. By describing the bottles as “sink(ing) to the bottom,” she shows that alcoholism represents a weight that was holding her down rather than a crutch that was letting her survive. Jacquie asks her sister the plaintive question “can i stay?” which suggests that she is finally ready to commit to a home and a long-term relationship, which she had never really done before. It’s significant that both of these decisions are of her own volition because they are some of the first major ones she makes as someone who can fully control her path. The most surprising choice she makes is to reconnect
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Writer Sherman Alexie has a knack of intertwining his own problematic biographical experience with his unique stories and no more than “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” demonstrates that. Alexie laced a story about an Indian man living in Spokane who reflects back on his struggles in life from a previous relationship, alcoholism, racism and even the isolation he’s dealt with by living off the reservation. Alexie has the ability to use symbolism throughout his tale by associating the title’s infamy of two different ethnic characters and interlinking it with the narrator experience between trying to fit into a more society apart from his own cultural background. However, within the words themselves, Alexie has created themes that surround despair around his character however he illuminates on resilience and alcoholism throughout this tale.
This event plunges her into a dark place, where she becomes hooked on heroin and cheats on her husband, despite his respectful treatment. These actions showcase Cheryl's impulsive nature and the negative consequences it has on her life and mental well-being. Furthermore, Cheryl's impulsive nature continues to shape her journey, propelling her into unknown territories and forcing her to grapple with the consequences of her actions.
There There Essay #1 There There by Tommy Orange is a historical fiction novel spotlighting Native American characters as they face numerous challenges and navigate their way through life. Throughout the course of There There, Orange explores the theme of escapism. When times get difficult for the characters, they often disassociate themselves and escape from reality. The themes of escapism are most prevalent in Jacquie Red Feather’s and Edwin Black’s chapters. Jacquie is an abuse counselor battling alcoholism.
The novel There There by Tommy Orange is an influential social commentary on the contemporary issues of violence and addiction in Native American communities. These issues came from historical trauma, and continue to affect Native American communities today. The first key issue that is exposed
Similarly, Chayla displays the use of alcohol and drugs to conform to an identity. A primary example of this is when Chayla describes the reason the substance abuse began, “... It wasn’t something that came naturally. I forced myself to smoke it a few times to get used to it. I wanted to be able to smoke it around my Native friends. They weren’t straight-A-type kids.
Specifically, they drank as a way to cope with their problems and the hardships they faced. Correspondingly, the impact of alcoholism on Saul’s family has caused them to lose their connection to their traditional lifestyle and culture. Moreover, Saul’s journey with alcoholism sets the stage for Saul’s struggles with the trauma he experienced in his childhood. One article states, “Approximately 82% reported that their substance use behaviours began after attending residential schools, and roughly 78% had abused alcohol” (Gemme). The critic shows how residential schools have caused so much trauma for others that they have to result to drinking as part of a coping mechanism.
Alcohol and Stereotypes keep native Americans in the reservations just like Junior 's family, in the novel, Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Before Junior transferred to Reardan High School, he got suspended from school and his teacher, Mr P., came to his house, “ 'And you’re a bright and shining star, too, ' he said. 'You’re the smartest kid in the school. And I don’t want you to fail. I don’t want you to fade away.
The novel explores themes of family, identity, and trauma. It revolves around a group of Native American characters fighting against the government’s plans to terminate the tribe and displace them from their land. The characters’ experiences
“It was hard because, with their addictions, they put up a wall, so I never really got to know them. I just knew them as having an addiction. I didn’t know them as people, and they never got to know me as a person; they just knew me as a sister.” Being so young, Haley’s understanding of her sibling’s addictions was much
She was like a child and John was her strict father, he wouldn 't let her do anything besides eat and sleep. Since the beginning of the short story the narrator has been treated as if she were one of John 's patients instead of his wife. For instance, when she wanted John to change the wallpaper he told her she was "letting it get the better of her" and "that
In the novel There There (2018), the author Tommy Orange explores the interconnectedness of the characters and how their actions, no matter how small, can have profound effects on the lives of others. Ultimately revealing the devastating impacts of generational trauma and attempts of genocide against/on Native American communities. Orange uses the complex connections between the characters to illustrate the devastating effects of generational trauma on Native American communities, specifically through the characters’ struggles with substance abuse, violence, suicide, and poverty. There There, follows twelve characters, each with their own unique story and struggles.
Throughout history, there have been many literary studies that focused on the culture and traditions of Native Americans. Native writers have worked painstakingly on tribal histories, and their works have made us realize that we have not learned the full story of the Native American tribes. Deborah Miranda has written a collective tribal memoir, “Bad Indians”, drawing on ancestral memory that revealed aspects of an indigenous worldview and contributed to update our understanding of the mission system, settler colonialism and histories of American Indians about how they underwent cruel violence and exploitation. Her memoir successfully addressed past grievances of colonialism and also recognized and honored indigenous knowledge and identity.
Leanne Howe works to challenge and confirm stereotypes of indigenous Choctaw peoples through her novel Shell Shakers. Although Howe presents some stereotypes that she selects to be acceptable of Choctaw culture to her readers, she makes it obvious that she is attempting to counter and change many stereotypes of indigenous Choctaw peoples through providing detailed accounts of Choctaw lives and proceedings. Stereotypes of indigenous peoples continue through the generalization of all groups, and the judgement passed upon those groups to fit western ideals (Berkhofer 25). Due to the “persistence and perpetuation” of stereotypes then the task of books aimed at countering stereotypes “becomes one of delineating that continuity in spite of seeming
In all the different tribes, none of the women are seen as less than the men, however in European culture at the time, the women were seen as weak and lesser beings. Gunn Allen tackles this issue using ethos logos and pathos by appealing to the readers through logic, emotion and her personal experiences. With Ethos Gunn Allen makes herself a credible source by mentioning that she is a “half breed American Indian woman. ”(83) making her story worth paying attention to rather than if it were a story by an outsider who truly has nothing to do with the American Indian women.