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Zitkala Sa

By | Feb. 2013
Page 1 of 3
Briana Bergman
Professor Wall
English 2314-01
February 18, 2013

Zitkala Ša

From the very beginning I was extremely intrigued by “Impressions of an Indian Childhood” and “The School Days of an Indian Girl” and the way in which Zitkala tells her story. The reality of her choosing leaving the only place she has ever known and her family and being a Dakota Indian in a white boarding school while trying to stay true to her roots is amazing and empowering. There are many qualities that she embodied and hardships that she faced but only three really stood out to me. Zitkala Ša shows loyalty, fear, and her strong spirit to never give up.

From the very beginning Zitkala shows her loyalty and obedience to her mother. She admires her mother very much so and is seemingly willing to do anything to make her happy. One thing that really stood out to me is her promising her mother that she wouldn’t have to come for water, because when she was as big as her cousin she would come get the water for her. Ša sees the deep hatred her mother expresses for the “paleface” or the white man and is brought up to hate the palefaces too for she learned they are the reason why her mother cries. Or at least she is supposed to hate them. After all, according to her mother Zitkala’s sister and uncle would still be with them if it weren’t for the heartless palefaces. Her attitude towards them was positive and optimistic. Zitkala came to a struggle with her loyalty to her mother when she decided to go off with the palefaces to the Eastern land to gain an education. Even though she knew her mother was hurting inside from the idea and didn’t understand why her daughter would want to go with the “enemy”, she still was eager to go.

Many could and may argue that Zitkala did not show fear at all but digging deeper into it and getting into her head she actually did. She longed for and missed her mother and was unhappy as soon as she left. In a world of strangers and...
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