Zitkala Sa And Sherman Alexie Analysis

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As the wild west opened, so did new opportunities for American to strike it rich. But with the wild west opening up for the Americans, Indian lands were being encroached for railroads and homesteads. Indians were being pushed into reservations, their children sent to assimilation schools such AS the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. In the horrors of American assimilation targeted at young Native American children, many children would face struggle of losing their identity or face punishment of resisting assimilation. In the assimilation stories of Zitkala Sa and Sherman Alexie, tells the tale of their childhood experience being integrated into “American culture”. Alexie and Sa describe their own experience through the school system set…show more content…
The tone of Alexie’s piece is very light and playful such as like a, perspective a boy telling about his life. Although, Alexie makes very constructed points such as “Believe me, everything looks like a noose if you stare at it long enough.”(Alexie Tenth Grade) but before this quote Alexie commented on how he passed the driving test in the same section, instigating a major tone shift. Alexie combats his statements with light anecdotes then gets straight to his reflection of that year. Sa’s tone is a mixed salad bowl of confusion, lost, and somber, which highlights the struggle and hardship she has gone through. “On my hands and knees I crawled under the bed, and cuddled myself in the dark corner.” (Sa 684) showing the fearful tone of young Sa. “I felt the cold blades of the scissors against my neck, and heard them gnaw off one of my thick braids.” (Sa 684) thus signifying the cut throat feeling Sa displays with the visual of cutting her hair off. Sa’s nature is always frank and focuses on struggle and the oppressed tone adds to the systematically stoic approach to her writing. Both tones differentiate each story giving a comedic and pessimistic view on Indian…show more content…
Alexie and Sa both share the ideas of the Native American assimilation story and the hardships that follow assimilation. Through separation, finding themselves, and “loosing spirit”, Sa and Alexie find themselves at different stages of growth. With a key concept of hair and honor they relate what it is like to be pushed into an unfamiliar culture. Both having pressures to cut their hair and going through Indian schools set up be the federal government. Therefore their literary merit is similar in the purpose to tell their experience immersed in American culture. Sa explains the terrible punishment, she was told to"Mash these turnips," and mash them I would!”(Sa 686). Sa put into detail of how she “sent the masher into the bottom of the jar, I felt a satisfying sensation that the weight of my body had gone into it. “ (Sa 686) Where as Alexie “spelled all the words right, she crumpled up the paper and made me eat it.” (Alexie Second Grade).Another key point is when his teacher told him to cut his braids, and his parents came into his class and “dragged their braids across Betty Towle’s desk.” (Alexie Second Grade). Sa had also, been forced to being “carried downstairs and tied fast to a chair… I heard them gnaw off one of my thick braids.” (Sa 684). Major key points are displayed in both pieces and can be attributed to sharing of Indian
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