Misinterpretation - Red Dress - Structure - Language

Misinterpretation - Red Dress - Structure - Language -...

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Jason Christian The Grass Dancer Klayder #1 Misinterpretation Throughout the novel The Grass Dancer , by Susan Power, many events occur where the Native American culture is misinterpreted. At least three occurrences of this misinterpretation arise in the novel. The first example of misinterpretation in the novel occurs with Anna (Mercury) Thunder. Throughout Anna Thunder’s life, she uses magical incantations on numerous occasions for reasons that she feels live in her blood. Anna, having blood of Red Dress, believes that she should perform magic just as Red Dress and should carry on the family way. Rather than helping for the good, as Red Dress expresses magic should not be used for bad at the end of the novel, Anna only uses her magic to help herself. From gaining the obedience and control of men to having Charlene win competitions to make herself look better, Anna proceeds to cast bad magic upon others with no regard for anyone but herself. A second example of misinterpretation can be seen with Jeanette. During her first few days teaching the children, she attempts to learn more of their ways. Jeanette brings up the ancestors having multiple wives. Many students felt as if Jeanette “would never understand the intricacies of tribal relationships” since “things aren’t always what they seem” (Power 65). Not only in class does Jeanette disrespect the natives, throughout the novel, she speaks of the Dakota people as “you people.” Although Jeanette feels as if she is making a good impression on the people, her blunders continuously come up through the course of the novel.
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A third example of misinterpretation can be seen with Father La Frambois and the Dakota people. During Father’s attempts at converting the people to Christianity, Red Dress has to translate his words so father will not insult the proud people. Through Red Dress, Father’s sermons on Christianity were voiced through the Dakota girl. Father
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ENGL 105 taught by Professor Berkland during the Spring '08 term at Kansas.

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Misinterpretation - Red Dress - Structure - Language -...

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