Narrated Indian autobiographies had been an established literary form in the United States at least

Narrated Indian autobiographies had been an established literary form in the United States at least

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Unformatted text preview: Narrated Indian autobiographies had been an established literary form in the United States at least since the 1833 publication of Black Hawk: An Autobiography. These life stories were narrated because most of their Indian subjects did not have the fluency in English to write for the American reading public. But simply to record a life story, even one's own, does not necessarily create a work of literature; a biography or autobiography, just like a novel or a play, usually has a point of thematic or dramatic interest around which the narrative can shape itself. In the case of Black Elk's life, that point of interest is the mystical vision he was granted. His story is an attempt to explain his successes and failures in enacting the promise of that vision: To what extent he did or did not fulfill the task the vision had delineated for him, the cultural factors that supported his efforts, and the...
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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