A Crow’s Testament of Accepting Fate
As seen throughout Sherman Alexie’s work, despair and hardship caused by European influences among Native peoples is a common issue that seems to be a reoccurring element in his work. Through the use of figurative language, Alexie is able to transcribe those issues onto paper by using metaphors and illusions to describe emotions conveyed by the Native peoples. Sherman Alexie is a Native American writer that is influenced by his experiences while growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in the state of Washington. In many of Alexie’s works, he answers the questions “what is it like to be a Native American?” and “what does it mean to be a Native American?” In Sherman Alexie’s “Crow Testament”, he uses figurative language and figures of speech, such as metaphors, religious allusions, structure, and imagery to illustrate the hardships that Native Americans experienced through the crow in the last lines of each stanza. Although his different use of writing styles are not intended to be taken literally, they give the reader the emotions of despair and agony Native peoples experienced that cannot be given with the use of literal meanings of words. Although Alexie describes the hardships that the natives went through, he adds positive notes that describe how the natives are not afraid of death. Sherman Alexie uses metaphors to help create a descriptive picture in the reader’s mind. He uses interesting characters such as the crow and other animals to describe people. As mentioned in the first line, “Cain lifts Crow, that heavy black bird…” The first metaphor, the crow, which is the main character of this poem, stands for any oppressed people, but more specifically the native peoples in the Americas. This poem would not have the same meaning if the crow stood for a different kind of person. Throughout the poem, the crow is constantly suppressed and not given any respect from the characters that represent the white man. Religion is...
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