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Many times people can be put into a situation that would make them feel uncomfortable. It may be even worse when a situation like that is the way and style that you live. In the two stories A Body Ritual Among the Nacirema, by by Horace M. Miner, and Reclaiming Culture and the Land: Motherhood and the Politics of Sustaining Community by Winona LaDuke, this situation is just that. In both of the stories, the main character or characters are living in a situation where they are considered the outsider or the outcast. Although the main characters find a number of ways to improvise and work around the situation, it still remains and is one of the big and important factors within their lives.
In the story Reclaiming Culture and the Land: Motherhood and the Policies of Sustaining Community, the author describes just some of the challenges of working while being a Native American living on and off within a normal Caucasian society. One of the issues brought up in the story is that the author does a poor job in raising her children while they are at the most important stages in their childhood. In this Indian community, everyone knows each other and it is a close, tight knit community throughout. One of the principals which backs this up is that one or more mothers in the community take care of all of the children of the community, kind of like a daycare center. The author is indeed one of these caretaker mothers that would spend a lot of time with all the children. As a result, outsiders look at her and believe that she is doing a poor job at what she considers to be a fine parenting job. And other hardship that she has is trying to understand her place in society because she is a woman. In the story, she describes how things are constantly being taken from her and assumed by the male sex. These and more are some of the problems that she has to deal with in the story.
In the article, Body Ritual among the Nacirema, by Horace M. Miner, some of these same problems are faced.
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The two stories have many things in common, and they are right to do so. The main principle that applies in each is that both lead characters in the story are faced with discrimination and have to deal with their problems. The main characters and the communities that they live in are considered outcasts by society. Reasons for this are because they live their lives with different lifestyles and this can hard for people to get used to. An example of this is when the main character in Reclaiming Culture in the Land, Winona La Duke, states that “I think that not letting others say what you are is important.” She has strong self confidence and that helps her with whatever problems she may have. In Body Ritual Among Nacirema, the author Horace M. Miner restates the same idea when he says that “It is hard to understand how they have managed to exist so long under the burdens in which they have imposed themselves.” These people have different lifestyles and customs than most people, but they don’t let that bother them.
There are many things that can be done to cut another person or group down. Using words is one of the greatest ways get this done. But if a person or group stands up for what they believe in, as the Nacirema people and the native American Winona LaDuke, they can live a lifestyle that is strong and happy.