The Rez Sisters
The play The Rez Sisters is written by one of Canada’s most celebrated playwrights, Tomson Highway. Highway was born in 1951 in northwestern Manitoba. He went on to study at the University of Manitoba and graduated from the University of Western Ontario, with honors in Music and English. Native Literature is inspired by “contemporary social problems facing native Canadians today; alcohol and drug abuse, suicide, wife battering, family violence, the racism of the justice system, loneliness, rejection, youth awareness, as well as modern-day environmental issues.”(P. 172 Native Literature in Canada.) Highway once said, “We grew up with myths. They’re the core of our identity as people.”(P. 172 Native Literature in Canada.) I am going to focus on the image and identity of Native people as seen through the play The Rez Sisters. Identity is “how you view yourself and your life.” (p. 12 Knots in a String.) Your identity helps you determine where you think you fit in, in your life. It is “a rich complexity of images, ideas and associations.”(p. 12 Knots in a String.) It is given that as we go through our lives and encounter different experiences our identity of yourselves and where we belong may change. As this happens we may gain or relinquish new values and from this identity and image our influenced. “A bad self-image and low self-esteem may form part of identity…but often the cause is not a loss of identity itself so much as a loss of belonging.” Social psychologists suggest that identity is closely related to our culture. Native people today have been faced with this challenge against their identity as they are increasingly faced with a non-native society. I will prove that the play The Rez Sisters showed this loss of identity and loss of belonging. When a native person leaves the reservation to go and start a new life in a city they are forced to adapt...
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