The Road Dawane Poem Analysis

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Question: In the moments when Dawée rejects her life in the East is she longing to return to her original lifestyle, or is she longing for something separate from the two societies she has experienced? In other words, where does she feel she belongs? In the beginning of the story, we see Dawée longing to travel to the East, be it out of envy for her brother who had already spent three years there, or out of a desire to explore the unknown. She idolizes the existence of apple trees in the East, an internal symbol for the potential opportunity and beauty that lay there. Soon after her arrival to the land of the Palefaces, it is apparent that this glorified image of the East shatters within Dawée, as we see her desperately clinging to her previous…show more content…
She goes back between feeling this restriction of her freedom and attempting to break free. She goes from commenting “it was next to impossible to leave the iron routine after the civilizing machine had once begun its days buzzing” to commenting “I was again actively testing the chains which tightly bound my individuality like a mummy for burial” (p 66,67). However, after returning home after this first stay, she feels disconnected to the place she grew up. During this time she feels as though she is “neither a wild Indian nor a tame one” (p. 69), and has an inescapable desire to flee from her home. This urgency to run is materialized when she takes her brothers horse and rides at full speed through the prairie. It is this internal conflict that pushes Dawée to return once again to the Eastern school. Near the end of the narrative of this second stay in the East, Dawée enters a oratorical contest at college and wins. This accomplishment brings her joy initially, when surrounded by her peers, but immediately loses its satisfaction when Dawée is alone with her thoughts. “The little taste of victory did not satisfy a hunger in my heart”, she says. “In my mind I saw my mother far away on the Western plains, and she was holding a charge against me” (p. 80). Upon reflection, Dawée seems to long for the life she could have had with
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