Native American Literature

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, English people, United States Pages: 3 (748 words) Published: December 2, 2012
Native American Displacement
Native American literature is based on the everyday lives and experiences of the people native to North America. There are four main themes in Native Americas literature: displacement, “thou vs. it”, definition of evil, and assimilation. The most prominent is displacement which is expressed through the removal from one’s home, the removal of one’s language, and the removal of one’s identity.

The first example of displacement was the removal of Native Americans from their homes and homelands. This excerpt from On Indian Removal shows the Natives being moved away from their homes by the English settlers “It will separate them from immediate contact with settlements of whites…” (Jackson 3.). The natives were moved without any option to areas with terrible living conditions. Natives were also violently chased from their homes. “The American armies always drove them out at harvest time, making them face winter without food or shelter…” (Thom 1.). This quote shows English armies driving them out very forcefully right at harvest time; this left the Natives on the run, cold, and starving. From panther in the sky, this quote is another example of displacement “It was now just as it had been most of her life, the people fleeing, the war chiefs protecting them—except that now they were not in their homeland anymore.” (Thom 3.).. It shows how the natives of that time had been running for most of their lives.

The second form of displacement is the loss of the Native’s languages due to the Englishman’s pressure. After assimilation many Native Americans lost their language. “…and I never understood her prayer…” (Edrich 1184.) this quote from “The Way to Rainy Mountain.” shows that over the years many Natives lost their languages. Children were taken and placed into boarding schools due to displacement. “The experience in boarding schools which existed from 1875 to 1928 was difficult for Indian children who were forbidden to speak their...

Cited: Edrich, Louis. “The Names of Women.” Glencoe American Literature. Eds. Beverly Ann Chinn, et. Al. Columbus, Ott: Glencoe, 2002. pp. 1181-1185. Print.
Jackson, A. “President Andrew Jackson” On Indian Removal. Print.
Momaday, N. Scott. from “The Way to Rainy Mountain.”Glencoe American Literature. Eds. Beverly Ann Chinn, et. Al. Columbus, Ott: Glencoe, 2002. Pp.1054-59
Native Americans. n.p. n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. <>
Thom, James Alexander. Prologue. from Panther in The Sky. N.Y.: Ballatine 1989. Print.
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