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Vista Entry 8 - The Hopi have their “pagan” rituals and...

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HON 191 | Katie Sheridan | Vista Entry 8 “She felt a constant pull, an attraction that held her like a magnet here on the mesas.” Polingaysi continues to have an internal struggle – a self-identity crisis, really. She is odd among the Hopis and scorned by many white folk, yet her pursuit for knowledge, for the answers to the white man’s life encourages her to continue learning, both in school and out. It bothers me how the white man continually acts toward the Hopi, especially Polingaysi, as though they are savages. This however makes sense for the time period. The most interesting aspect of white society, in my opinion, is the role the missionaries play, especially the Frays. Their lives are a true testament to their work; treating Polingaysi like their own child, opening up their home to her when she has lost herself in the jumble of her transition, exemplifies their strong faith. Religion seems to be a strong factor in the lives of all of the main characters.
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Unformatted text preview: The Hopi have their “pagan” rituals and worship their gods, spending their entire lives dedicated to that way of life. The whites portrayed in the novel at length are mostly missionaries whose life is led by their work. The reverend tries to relate Christianity as closely as he can to Hopi religion, and it may be suggested that Polingaysi’s teaching method reflects this manner of assimilation. Her lessons from the Frays translate into her teaching, which in turn become almost a standard for teaching young Indian children the way of the white man. It is exciting that Polingaysi’s life, her dreams, led her to pursue a life so much like the white man that she gained an appreciation and understanding for both tradition and new world ways. Her role as an Native American in education truly was fitting, as her passion and struggle throughout life led to the preparation of Indian communities for the coming of the white populace....
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