Add the following to your notes:
Figurative significance of the name Spirit – that spirit is tested early on @ Reardon between the racism he encounters and the ostracizing he endures – “And once I arrived at Reardan, I became something less than less than less than Indian. Those white kids did not talk to me. They barely looked at me” (83).
Then, answer the following (2-4 sentences/question):
In the chapter “Red Versus White” (153), Arnold compares his parents/family to those of his peers at Reardan.
• What similarities does he see?
• What differences does he see?
• What conclusions does he come to?
• Interpret the meaning of the white man Ted who visits GMA’s funeral. What is Alexie’s purpose in mentioning this story?
Below are the notes from class in case anyone needs to fill them in:
9/13 – Stereotypes in rel. to ‘True Diary’
Ex of Junior’s encounters with stereotypes:
• Stereotypes about develop. Disabled – p. 4 “retard”
• Stereotypes ab. NA being poor, drunk, disease-riddled people who do not have dreams/goals/ambitions; also, ignorant + savage – p. 35 Mr. P. talking about how he educated NA early on in his career; drawing of “Savage Summer” p. 38 – Brutish NA male lover of a buxom white female
• List of rules for NA fighting – p. 61, playing off stereotype that NA are hotheaded and cannot control their emotions
• Junior @ Reardon surrounded by the big white monsters calling him derogatory cultural names – p.63
• Roger’s racist “joke” – p.64
• Mr. Dodge: “‘Where did you learn this fact? On the reservation? Yes, we all know there’s so much amazing science on the reservations’” (Alexie 85).
• NA & casinos (119).
Stereotypes also originate from FEAR of the UNKNOWN/UNFAMILIAR – revisit during xenophobia discussion.
• Is the effect of fear a major theme in this novel? NO – Try the power of hope or the value of dreams
Stereotypes and racism – there is a distinction between the two terms:
• Stereotypes – baseless claims about someone’s culture, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or gender based out of lack of understanding/fear/ignorance.
• Racism – scorn for someone’s race.
• When we overuse a word, we take away its power; it loses its meaning.
• HINT: not EVERYTHING can be RACIST
English Assignments 7-12
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