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Three Essays on Literary Works

Indian Tales, People of Darkness, and the poems and stories in The Business of Fancydancing provide us with fiction focusing on American Indians and their way of life. In doing so, they open the world of the American Indian to us in a much more engaging way than scholarly and factual articles on Indian culture. Though such articles often provide factual information on American Indian culture, in fiction like these three books we are able to become more enmeshed in the American Indian way of thinking and living.

In Indian Tales, we are treated to the tales of Bear, his wife Antelope, and their son Fox as they travel to visit relatives. We see the camaraderie of American Indians in the journey of Bear and his family. We see this through a description of the games played by the family with the Flints that also shows the hospitality that infuses American Indian relations with each other. When they play a game, the Flint Chief tells them ôYou are the visitors, you start hiding themö (Angulo 26). We also see into the roles of women, like Loon Woman being a medicine doctor and AntelopeÆs skills at weaving, which Doctor Loon appraises as ôprettyö compared to the ôrough stuffö for fishing she weaves (Angulo 97).

In AlexieÆs stories and poems, we see the pain, anger, and self-destructive behavior that often pervade the lives of American Indians who live on reservations. In ôSpecial Delivery,ö Simon knocks over utility pokes and Thomas Builds-a-Fire holds the postmistress hostage with ôthe idea of a gunö (Alexie 45). The confines of reservation life and the distance they create between Americans and American Indians is poignantly apparent in many of these stories and poems, like AlexieÆs (56) depiction in ôIndian Boy Love Song (#3),ö in which he maintains a kiss with his cousin tasted ôclean and unclean, at the same time, like the river which divides, the heart of my heart, all the beautiful white girls on one side...

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Three Essays on Literary Works. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 14:39, March 18, 2019, from