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Green Grass, Running Water : Exploring Tradition & Modern Culture by Thomas King

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Since taking possession of North America, Europeans have colonized the continent and enforced their beliefs and practices. Now Native Americans are reclaiming their culture and heritage. Thomas King participates in this movement through the form that Helen Tiffin identifies as "the processes of artistic and literary decolonization [which] have involved a radical dismantling of European codes and a postcolonial subversion and appropriation of the dominant European discourses" (17) by publishing his postmodern novel Green Grass, Running Water (1993). The book creates certain conflicts between values and expectations and conventions for the non-Native Canadian reader. These are mainly composed of stereotypes, internal structure of the text and reoccurring ideas throughout it.

In his novel, Thomas King plays on stereotypes and expectations that occur in our society on the portrayal of Native Americans. He show us the bias image that we have of them by describing what is an indian from a colonizers point of view, how the genre of western movies has an effect on our perception in society. In the novel, Nasty Bumppo, who represents modern society, explains that :
«Indians can run fast.  Indians can endure pain.  Indians have quick reflexes.  Indians don’t talk much.  Indians have good eyesight.  Indians have agile bodies.  These are all Indian gifts … Whites are patient.  Whites are spiritual.  Whites are cognitive.  Whites are philosophical.  Whites are sophisticated.  Whites are sensitive. These are all white gifts, says Nasty Bumppo.
So, says Old Woman.  "Whites are superior, and Indians are inferior. Exactly right, says Nasty Bumppo. Any questions? (434-435)»
This excerpt shows the contrast between our societies and the prejudices...


... middle of paper ...


...l heritage. H4e does so though portraying cultural biases, exposing the stereotypes that prevail in our society and the conventions that are created upon others.The reclaiming of Native American cultural heritage is a very current factor in our lives as Canadians, but they aren’t the only ones that strive for freedom and recognition, “We [need to] support the liberation of all people from social discrimination due to age, ability, class, race, gender or sexual preference. We [need to] strive to create a space that celebrates and respects diversity.”(Camas)


Works Cited

http://www.otago.ac.nz/deepsouth/2003_01/king.html
http://www.otago.ac.nz/deepsouth/2003_01/king2.html
http://www.otago.ac.nz/deepsouth/2003_01/king3.html
http://www.otago.ac.nz/deepsouth/2003_01/king4.html
http://www.otago.ac.nz/deepsouth/2003_01/king5.html
Green Grass, Running Water, By Thomas King


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