Two American Indian Stories from Marxist's Perspective

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Yiwan Ye
University of Iowa
29 June 2013

Two American Indian Stories From Marxist's Perspective “Roma and Julie: Indians in Duality” by Barney Bush and “Looking for Hiawatha” by Andrew Connors are two short stories selected from “Blue Dawn, Red Earth,” a collection of contemporary Native Indians literatures (Trafzer). Bush is a Shawnee who grew up in Karber’s Ridge in Hardin County, Illinois (Bush). Connors is a Bad River Ojibwe from Wisconsin (Trafzer). In both of these stories, the theme of Western cultural colonization in Native American culture is very conspicuous. Bush and Connors are likely referring to the titles of the stories, “Roma and Julie: Indians in Duality” to “Romeo and Juliet,” and “Looking for Hiawatha” to “Song of Hiawatha”. The former is an English classic Western written by William Shakespeare. The latter is written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a famous white American poet (Maine Historical Society). The authors deliberately chose the titles to represent the cultural oppression from the Western colonialists. In addition, readers may experience the idea about the cultural conflict between Native Americans and the white people throughout the stories. In order to illustrate the oppression of Western culture in the stories, the article would compare and contrast the cultural conflicts from a Marxist’s conflict perspective. In addition, the paper would analyze the literature elements such as the characterization and style of the stories and how they related to the main idea of the stories.          “Roma and Julie: Indians in Duality” talks about an intense quarrel between two Native American couples. The woman in the story (Julie), asks the man (Roma) a set of questions about her identity and their future. Differences between the white and Native American culture causes the exhaustion in her life and confusion of real selves, a white-self and an Indian-self. For instance, Julie is a...