The Perfect Balance

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The Perfect Balance
Many Aboriginal stories contain important themes. The short stories “Yellow Woman” by Leslie Marmon Silko, “Soul Catcher” by Louis Owens, and “From Love Medicine” by Louise Erdrich all incorporate one theme. The theme in these stories is the tension between myths and reality in a modern day society. The authors placed this theme in their stories to let people know that it is important to find a good balance of personal and cultural beliefs in life. In “Yellow Woman”, the protagonist questions if the man she meets is a character from a story she heard as a child. Again, in “Soul Catcher”, the boy does not believe the old man when he says that the panther is not a mere animal. In “From Love Medicine”, Lipsha’s attitude toward the “magic” in his life changes throughout the story. This theme of myth versus reality is consistent throughout these stories.

The story “Yellow Woman” contains the struggle between myth and reality. The first time we see this in the story is when she denies being who she said she was the day before. She says, “But I only said that you were him and that I was Yellow Woman – I’m not really her – I have my own name…” The next time that we see her questioning what she already knows is when she is having a conversation with Silva, saying, “I don’t believe it. Those stories couldn’t happen now.” Though she plainly states that she does not believe these stories, it seems as though this time, she is trying to convince herself as well as him. Later in the story, we see that the Yellow Woman chooses myth over reality when she decides to stay with Silva for a day even though he is not keeping her there. This is shown in the story when she narrates, “He was gone, and I had my chance to go now…I did not decide to go.” Though she decided to stay with Silva for an extra day, she ultimately chose reality over the pleasures of a dream world and returned to her family. These are examples of the questioning of myths in society in...
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