How do racist attitudes towards Indians contribute to the catastrophe that overtakes the Hayden family?
Racism is an underlying force in the Novel Montana 1948, written by Larry Watson. The racist attitudes shown towards the Indians in Bentrock escalate to a point where a catastrophe overtakes the Hayden Family. In the town Bentrock in 1948, it was accustomed that racial attitudes towards the Indians were apart of the culture and nature of the town. Marie Little Soldier’s confession about Frank’s antics could prove to be a vital point when all the secrets started to unravel and eventually contributed to the catastrophe that took over the Hayden family. Gail Hayden, David’s mother, comes from a completely different region with different customs and morals. She sees the racial slurs towards Indians from a different perspective and slowly unravels the true nature of how Indians are being treated, especially Frank’s crimes. The arrogant nature and racist attitudes shown by the Hayden family also eventually boils over to a point where everything collapses. Watson shows how a small town like Bentrock can suddenly turn into a dystopia where power, corruption and racism is the root of all evil.
Bentrock in circa 1948 would have been a tough era for the Indian minorities. They were treated with a lack of respect and in some cases ostracized. The overall community is found to be prejudice and continue to ignore the fact that Frank has sexually exploited Indian women. Racist attitudes in Bentrock can be shown through Daisy McCauley, Len’s wife, who refers to Indian women as “squaws” which is a kind of racial terminology. Frank also shows an ignorant and racial attitude towards the Indians by saying “Like you said on the phone. They’re used to being treated by a medicine man. Or some old squaw. But a doctor comes around and they think its some evil spirit or something.” This sort of lack of respect shown towards the Indian minority contributes to the catastrophe that...
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