Native American Culture in a Modern America: House Made of Dawn by Scott Momaday

Native American Culture in a Modern America: House Made of Dawn by Scott Momaday

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Native American Culture in a Modern America
House Made of dawn by Scott Momaday is about a Native American named Abel who struggles throughout his journey, always wanting to belong to his tribe, but his failure to immerse himself with his own culture as well as struggle with modern life leaves him devastated. This causes Abel to develop an alcohol problem and communication problems, with his tribe and also causes him to distrust Caucasian men around him. The novel portrays the identity crisis that Native American’s suffer, through Abels search for identity as he struggles to cope with the two very different worlds he is forced to live in. The novel also portrays the struggle of Native American tribes trying to maintain their culture in a modern America.
Scott Momaday was born on February 27, 1934, in Oklahoma. His mother was a literature teacher and his father was an art teacher. Momaday’s parents both where authors and taught on Indian reserves. Momaday was forced to adjust between two cultures from an early age; although, he views this situation as an advantage, both in his life and in his work. After receiving a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of New Mexico, he submitted a few poems to a creative writing contest sponsored by Stanford University. There Ivor Winters, professor and established poet, secured a scholarship for the young man and became his mentor. Momaday remained at Stanford to earn a master's and Ph.D. in English and continued to write fiction and poetry. He came out as a highly successful writer of many books, and his literary career full of outstanding achievements. House Made of Dawn, his “classic first novel”, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. In his writings, Momaday ha...


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ISSN: 2308-5460
Vol:2, Issue:1, January-March, 2014 www.eltsjournal.org
Momaday, N. Scott. House Made of Dawn. New York: Harper & Row, 1968. Print.

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