Comparing How Two Women Find Their Identity

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Comparing How Two Women Find Their Identity

Two women born in the United States, and raised in a small town, both have become important role models of today. They each write wonderful and strong essays describing what they believe in and finding out who they really are. Winona LaDuke and Pythia Peay both come from different backgrounds. LaDuke is a Native American Indian who wrote the essay on “Reclaiming Culture and the Lands.” Pythia Peay also wrote an essay on “Soul Searching.” They both share their ideas and experience of how and where they grew up.

LaDuke is a mother of two children and lives on the White Earth reservation in Minnesota. She is part Jewish and part Ojibwe. Her parents are two very important people in her life. She was one of the few who grew up around people fighting for what they believe in. In her essay she writes about her religion and culture while trying to make it in the real world. She writes about how her people are there for one another and how they take care of each other’s children. In her essay she states, “We operate in extended families, and that is how we parent”, (10).She is stating that this is not common among the “White American Culture”, but among the Native Americans. She tries to teach them the value of life and keeping the tradition of their culture and how important it is to know where they come from. She talks about children learning from experience, having the need to be involved within their community, which will make them better understand their culture.

In a way she is saying that seeing is believing! She talks strongly about how Native Americans are “deculturalizing” (12). She is saying that her people are slowly being pulled away from their native culture and being pulled into the white mans culture. This is what makes her even more determined to keep her culture and religion alive.

Peay writes her essay on “Soul Searching”. She writes about finding her soul after leaving her home town in Oak Grove, Missouri where she grew up. Stepping into the new world full of opportunities is what she has always dreamed of. She traveled from city to city, and within each city she began to discover who she really was. In her essay, she lists some opinions and explains what she thinks of them.
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