Assignment 4.docx - Assignment 4 Symbolism and Theme...

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Assignment 4: Symbolism and Theme Questions: All answers should be in paragraph form (at least 150 words) and should include at least one quote from the story to support your analysis. Remember to cite using parenthetical citations. 1. Notice those places in the essay where Alexie describes how Native Americans face prejudice and negative stereotyping. What does this focus suggest about the theme? 2. Alexie refers to his hair in the opening sentence of the essay and in the sections on second grade and twelfth grade. Of what is his hair a symbol? 3. At several points in the essay, Alexie uses comparison and contrast. Locate at least two examples and explain what each contributes to the essay. 4. Alexie is well known for injecting humor, sometimes very dark humor, into tales that might otherwise be unrelievedly bleak. Where do you see humor in “Indian Education”? Who or what, if anything, does Alexie poke fun at? How effective is the humour? 5. Read “ Sherman Alexie On Writing.” What do you think Alexie means by the “Earth Mother and Shaman Man thing” that he disparages in the work of some Indian writers? Why does he disapprove of it? Answers: Question 1: Throughout the story, “Indian Education”, by Sherman Alexie, it reveals several settings where Native Americans are faced with prejudice and stereotyping through the protagonist, Junior Polatkin also known as Victor. The overall theme focuses on racism with an underlying theme of resilience and self reliance as Victor shares his experiences throughout his academic career from elementary school to high school in a diary entry format. Since first grade, Victor has already started experiencing racism from being teased with his Indian name “Junior Falls Down”. However, he has shown his resilience through standing up for himself as “the little warrior in me roared to life that day” [CITATION Ale \p 1 \l 1033 ]. In second grade, he experiences racism through his teacher as she deliberately tries to make him fail a

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