Zitkala Ša and Alexie on Ethnic Stereotypes

Zitkala Ša and Alexie on Ethnic Stereotypes - Peter...

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Peter Licalzi 12/03/07/ American Literature Essay #2 Zitkala Ša and Alexie on Ethnic Stereotypes Although they lived a century apart, both Zitkala Sa and Sherman Alexie encountered many similar problems in their journey past the many racial stereotypes that were forced upon them and their people. For Sa, the mainstream white society was not ready to accept someone different like her, forcing hardship upon her in the beginning of her journey. Alexie, who was also a victim of racial stereotyping, approached the problem differently. In the beginning, Sa’s attempt to blend in only made her stand out more. She was initially ignorant to the extent of her predicament, but soon began to realize that she was extremely out of place, and many people would not be ready to accept her in their society. Her only comfort was her mother, who did not approve of what Sa was doing, which made things even rougher for her. Sa found herself frequently “…wishing to be nourished by my mother’s love, instead of remaining among a cold race whose hearts were frozen hard with prejudice (Sa 1120).” There was a constant battle between the wishes of her mother and her determination to conquer the stereotype her people were given. Her mother was in some ways not much better than the white people, constantly attempting to stereotype them. “My daughter, beware of the paleface, it was the cruel paleface who caused the death of your sister and your uncle, my brave brother. It is this same paleface who offers in one 1 | P a g e
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palm the holy papers, and with the other gives a holy baptism of firewater. He is the hypocrite who reads with one eye, ‘Thou shall not kill,’ and with the other gloats upon the sufferings of the Indian race (Sa 1123).” Throughout the history of the country, the whites have been reluctant to accept minorities and have constantly attached stereotypes to those who are different. Trying to assimilate and face
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2008 for the course ENGL 2304 taught by Professor Soto during the Spring '07 term at Trinity U.

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Zitkala Ša and Alexie on Ethnic Stereotypes - Peter...

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