Ten Little Indians

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Fritz Perls once said “I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine.” In the short story The Search Engine, by Sherman Alexie, the Native American culture is trying to live up to the expectations of the white world. The main character Corliss, a Spokane Indian, is expected to do well in college so she can move back to the reservation to help her tribe. There is also a cultural difference between our world and that of the Spokane when it comes to the roles of gender. Corliss is a very bright individual who has plans beyond the Spokane reservation. When Corliss was younger she was ridiculed for her love of reading. Even though her passion for reading is part of the reason she was able to attend college, the men in her tribe still disagree with reading about nineteenth century white people. Despite the disagreements they are all very proud that she is pursuing a higher education. Corliss’s parents boast about how Corliss will one day come back to fix everything that is wrong with the tribe. In reality they are ignorant to Corliss’s real dreams and ambitions. Gender roles can be defined as the behaviors and attitudes expected of male and female members of a society by that society. In the Spokane tribe the women made more money and held better jobs than the men. In our society, even with more equality for women today, men earn a substantial amount more than women do. For the Spokane men to just sit around and brag about their spouses’ accomplishments seems unreal to our culture. Native American culture is very different from that of American culture. Rather than the Spokane tribesmen trying to better the tribe themselves, they are counting on Corliss to graduate law school and fix the problems of the tribe. The men of the tribe are not fully applying themselves to employment, the tribe, or each other. The values, goals, and practices of the Spokane tribe make their culture foreign to the average...
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