Essay on The Education Of Little Tree

Essay on The Education Of Little Tree

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The movie entitled The Education of Little Tree is about a young boy who is brought up by his Cherokee grandparents during the Great Depression, following the death of his parents. They teach him about a way of life that is very different from what he is used to, and is much more in-tune with nature. The state comes to find that the boy is not in school, something very European, and forces him to attend an oppressive school run by the state which forbids anything “Indian” related. Throughout the movie, there are stark contrasts made between the Cherokee and European way of life. It becomes evident that cultural influences have an effect on the young boy and they can be seen through the process of acculturation, the sensitive period for culture and the difference between holistic and analytic ways of thinking. These are demonstrated through the ways in which Little Tree has trouble adopting to his new culture as a Euro-American, the way he adopted his Cherokee culture with ease, and through the way in which he views and understands the world.
In the movie Little Tree has to adapt to a new culture twice, which is a process that can be difficult for some people. This is called acculturation, which is how people learn to deal with a new culture (host culture), when it is significantly different from their heritage culture (Sam & Oppedal, 2003). The first time was easy for Little Tree, he adapted quite easily into the Cherokee traditions of his grandparents, who offered him love and support as well. This acculturation strategy would be called assimilation (Linden-Andersen, 2015), where the boy rejects his white heritage and instead, fully adopts and loves the Cherokee way of life. One explanation for this is that acculturation can occu...


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...of a deer. Little Tree’s description is relating the two objects together in the scene, while the rest of the class has a more analytic way of thinking and is able to separate the foreground image of the deer and the background image of the grass and action.
To conclude, it is evident that the way in which Little Tree was raised is very different from the rest of the American culture. This can be seen through the ways in which he has trouble adopting to his new culture as a Euro-American, the way he adopted his Cherokee culture with ease, and through the way in which he views and understands the world. Being raised in one culture can have a profound impact on how one sees the world, and as shown in the movie, sometimes it can be hard to adapt. This is important to understand so that the individual can be understood and treated with patience through their transition.

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