American Indian Stories

1254 Words6 Pages
In American Indian Stories, University of Nebraska Press Lincoln and London edition, the author, Zitkala-Sa, tries to tell stories that depicted life growing up on a reservation. Her stories showed how Native Americans reacted to the white man’s ways of running the land and changing the life of Indians. “Zitkala-Sa was one of the early Indian writers to record tribal legends and tales from oral tradition” (back cover) is a great way to show that the author’s stories were based upon actual events in her life as a Dakota Sioux Indian. This essay will describe and analyze Native American life as described by Zitkala-Sa’s American Indian Stories, it will relate to Native Americans and their interactions with American societies, it will discuss the major themes of the book and why the author wrote it, it will describe Native American society, its values and its beliefs and how they changed and it will show how Native Americans views other non-Natives.
Before the introduction of the “pale face” Native Americans lived a calm and serene life. They lived in big communities and help one another in order to survive. They had a form of religion, poly-theistic, that would be their main form of salvation. They had chiefs and warriors. They had teepees that would allow them to quickly pack up and move. The Native Americans were a nomadic, primitive people that did not live up to the whiter man’s view of “civilization”. However, the white man, pale face, felt the need to change the Native Americans barbaric ways of life. The Americans were smart in their efforts in trying to convert the Indians. They would go after the kids because they were still young and gullible. “Yes, my child, several others besides Judewin are going away with the palefaces. Your brother said the missionaries had inquired about his little sister... “Did he tell them to take me, mother” (40). The children were impressionable. In this first story, the daughter gets hooked on going with the missionaries because they said they had apple trees and being that she has never seen an apple tree, she begged her mother to go not knowing that her mother did not want to send her away. Some Indians enjoyed leaving with the Americans; others did not because of what the Americans had done to the Indians. The mother in this story had told her daughter stories of what the paleface had done and how they had killed most...

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...ew that the Americans came in and killed their ancestors and forced others to leave their lands. They knew that they were taking their children away and brainwashing them into thinking that their families were savages and that the Americans had more to offer them. They knew that the Americans were making their kids forget about their ways of living and their beliefs. The children, however, saw the Americans invitation as a way to better themselves and their families. The children would happily go away with the American strangers thinking that everything would be better for them.
Zitkala-Sa tried to show how her people were treated by Americans in her book American Indian Stories. She showed how the Indians life was before the Americans and how it had changed after the introduction of the Americans. She proved that not all of the Indians liked the white people. She proved that most of the children that left did not remember their family’s way of life. She proved that when the Americans came they not only took the Indians’ land, they also took their people.

Works Cited
Zitkala-Sa. American Indian Stories. University Of Nebraska Press. Lincoln and Lo
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