Project 2: Zitkala-Sa

The story of Zitkala-Sa provides meaningful input into what it feels like to not belong. In “The School Days of an Indian Girl” by Zitkala-Sa, she is able to describe the life and emotions she endured as a young Native American girl. Zitkala-Sa was taken from her homeland at the young age of eight years old and forcibly entered into a Quaker boarding school for Indians in Wabash, Indiana. During her time at this school, Zitkala-Sa was stripped of her cultural freedoms. Zitkala-Sa was physically punished by instructors at her school. She was stripped of her native clothing and also forcibly given a haircut to get rid of her long hair. She was forced to learn how to dress, write and even eat as a white person (Smith). Due to this forceful assimilation of culture, Zitkala-Sa is left feeling lost in the world she once thought was so simple.

As Zitkala-Sa continues to describe her life, it becomes increasingly obvious how miserable she slowly becomes. Despite this, Zitkala-Sa tries her hardest to resist changing her cultural foundations despite being essentially forced to. She is proud of where she comes from. The more time she spends at her school, the more she wishes she could be back home in the comfort of her mother. Zitkala-Sa wishes to be back home where she believes everything will return to the way it was. Little does she know at the time, nothing will ever be the same again. Zitkala-Sa returns home after three years at school only to realize that she no longer truly has a home. In “Four Strange Summers”, Zitkala-Sa describes her detachment from both her own Sioux culture and that of the white culture that was forced upon her. She is able to accomplish this goal by using figurative language while also appealing to the emotions of her audience.
In order to show her emotions when returning home, Zitkala-Sa shares her immediate feelings with her audience. She says that she seemed to hang in the “heart of chaos” and that she was beyond the comfort of human voice or touch (Four Strange Summers), thus describing her mental state. By instantly sharing this information with the audience, the readers are able to better identify with the kind of situation she is in. By stating she is in the “heart of chaos”, she is implying that she is not at peace mentally despite being home, a place she once found so much happiness. Zitkala-Sa then goes on to describe how she does not belong at home or back at her school for she was “neither a wild Indian nor a tame one” (Zitkala-Sa). It was here that she realized she must try her hardest to find comfort in herself and surroundings.

Zitkala-Sa further expresses her feelings of uncertainty with her audience through her home experiences. As the chapter progresses, Zitkala-Sa takes her brother’s horse and wagon for a ride through the country. By taking the horse on a ride through the beautiful land on which she was raised, she began to feel a sense of satisfaction. During this ride, Zitkala-Sa has a foreshadowing experience with that of a wild coyote chase. Zitkala-Sa chased this coyote away from the village out of a moment’s impulse. As she succeeded in her duty, she did not escape the sight of the coyote. “As I drove slowly homeward, I saw his sharp nose still pointed at me, until I vanished below the margin of the hilltops” (Four Strange Summers). This short story provides transcendent meaning to the audience. The coyote in this story acts as a metaphor for the white man and his culture to Zitkala-Sa. She sees this coyote as a dangerous threat and chases it away without a moment of thought. Just as she believes she has gotten rid of the coyote, she sees it staring right at her once again. This is similar to how Zitkala-Sa feels about the culture in which was forced upon her. She wishes she can get rid of it as easily as chasing it away, but unfortunately it will always be watching her as she goes back home. This leaves a daunting feeling in both Zitkala-Sa and her audience.

Yet another example of detachment shown by Zitkala-Sa, is when she returns home from her ride. As she arrived, a man was there talking to her brother and mother because he was concerned for her safety after watching her experience with the coyote from afar. Here, Zitkala-Sa once again feels despondent. She describes her feelings here as “unrest gnawing at my heart” (Four Strange Summers). This use of imagery effectively describes her feelings after this experience. Zitkala-Sa is losing her cultural spirit quicker than she can hope to recover it. This is important in the story because this is now happening at home rather than at her school in the East. She feels that she is slowly being chewed away by something that is completely out of her control, her mental unrest.
In order to relate to her audience’s emotions, Zitkala-Sa shares her failed attempt of trying to remold herself into her culture. Not long after Zitkala-Sa makes it clear that she is unsure of whether or not she fits in, she decides to try force herself to fit in. By asking to go out with her cousin, and her resulting feelings after this experience, Zitkala-Sa shows her connection to the audience’s emotions. She quickly wishes to join her brother in going out but was soon filled with more disappointment. “No, my baby sister, I cannot take you with me to the party to-night, he replied” (Four Strange Summers). By including this short snippet of detail, Zitkala-Sa is able to appeal to the emotions of the audience by showing her denial of fun by a member of her own a family.

Zitkala-Sa acknowledges the fact that her peers have changed from their Native American roots and began to secede to that of white culture, which causes her emotional distress. “They had gone three years to school in the East, and had become civilized. The young men wore the white man’s coat and trousers, with bright neckties. The girls wore tight muslin dresses, with ribbons at neck and waist” (Four Strange Summers). Here, Zitkala-sa once again appeals to the emotions of the readers in the sense that she feels as though others have moved on without her. She feels lonely yet again, but this time it is at home. Zitkala-Sa makes it clear she does not wish to fully change despite her feelings of loneliness and the fact that she has changed a small amount as well (Laura, Pg. 623). Although she accepts the fact she can speak English well, she did not dress the part, and that alone kept her separated. “Since my return from school I had thrown away my shoes, and wore again my soft moccasins” (Four Strange Summers). This example of strong will can be seen as direct and powerful by her audience which then enables her text to become more appealing (Herzog, Gertrude Bonnin).

Zitkala-Sa continues to appeal to emotion when she seeks comfort from her mother. By being completely vulnerable in the arms of her mother, Zitkala-Sa, like many of us have done, sought her mother’s guidance in a time of need. Little did she know, she would only feel more separation because of it. After seeing her child become so unhappy, Zitkala-Sa’s mother tried to comfort her. “‘Here, my child, are the white man’s papers. Read a little from them,’ she said most piously” (Four Strange Summers). Although trying to console her, Zitkala-Sa’s mother only filled her daughter with more despair by doing this. Zitkala-Sa wanted to feel the comfort of her mother, but she was only handed comfort in the form of a white man’s Bible. This was Zitkala-Sa’s breaking point in her relationship with her mother.

Not long after handing her daughter the book, Zitkala-Sa’s mother walked outside and desperately prayed for her daughter. “After an uncertain solitude, I was suddenly aroused by a loud cry piercing the night. My fingers grew icy cold, as I realized that my unrestrained tears had betrayed my suffering to her, and she was grieving for me” (Four Strange Summers). This is an especially emotional scene for the audience. This short, descriptive language allows for the audience to understand the severity of Zitkala-Sa’s suffering with her mother. Her mother only wished to comfort her daughter, but she was unable to do so because the bond between them has become so scarce due to her daughter’s culture shock. As an audience we empathize for the heartbreak that must be felt by this once loving mother and daughter companionship. (Hafen, Pg. 34)

Zitkala-Sa’s “The School Days of an Indian Girl” is an eye opening story to the struggles of cultural division that is exemplified in “Four Strange Summers” using various forms of figurative language and emotional appeal. While it is clear that Zitkala-Sa suffered due to the effects of her forcible assimilation of white culture, she is able portray this powerful message to her audience in a way that is easy to understand. It is truly exceptional how involved Zitkala-Sa makes the audience become through her style of writing. The story of Zitkala-Sa’s suffering would not have been as powerful if it were not for her effective use of literary techniques. An author’s story can come to life whenever so much emotion is put into the writing of it and this proves to be true in Zitkala-Sa’s work.

Works Cited
Hafen, P. Jane. “Zitkala-Sa: Sentimentality and Sovereignty.” Wicazo Sa Review 12.2 (1997): 31-41. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.
Herzog, Kristin. “Heath Anthology of American Literature Gertrude Bonnin (Zitkala-Sa; Sioux) – Author Page.” Heath Anthology of American LiteratureGertrude Bonnin (Zitkala-Sa; Sioux) – Author Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2016. < lauter/heath/4e/students/author_pages/late_nineteenth/bonninzitkalasasioux_ge.html>.
Laura L. Terrance (2011): Resisting colonial education: Zitkala-Sa and Native
Feminist archival refusal, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 24:5, 621-626
Smith, Nadine. “An Analysis of the Autobiography “The School Days of an Indian Girl” by Zitkala-Sa.” Education. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2016. < analysis-autobiography-the-school-days-indian-girl-zitkalasa-3671.html>.

15 thoughts on “Project 2: Zitkala-Sa”

  1. I am glad to read this book which is a collection of related short stories about the life of a Native American girl named Zitkala-Sa and her struggles in adapting to the white people’s world when she was sent to a white school. Having been brought up in an environment that appreciates the Native American culture, especially their music and dance, Zitkala-Sa had to endure the pain of being separated from her parents and being forced to conform to the white man’s culture. Best Kid’s Books

    1. Tesco Pestle Analysis & Swot Analysis of Tesco PLC by HND Assignment Help

      pestle analysis of tesco

      Business strategy is the long term action plan of any organisation generated to achieve a set of goals or objectives. We will understand this by Tesco Pestle Analysis Tesco Plc and Tesco Plc Swot Analysis of Tesco Plc. We will know the power of human resources and business management. In other words, business strategy is generally a document that readable the direction a business will seek and its measures to fulfil the goals. We will understand this by Tesco Pestle Analysis Tesco Plc and Tesco Plc Swot Analysis of Tesco Plc.

  2. I like how the course is set up and I appreciate the fact that Prof. Ryan gives us a lot of freedom in choosing our topics and how we want to present them. This definitely helps me see myself as a professional designer who has the responsibility to make my own decisions. I also suggest you source for downloading free easter graphics. However, I also think this could be a little challenging for some people who are not used to doing research and organizing their ideas in their own way.

  3. The Zitkala-Sa story is a very interesting and engaging story. I love how she talks about her culture and what she went through. It shows how humans can be cruel to one another, and how we should always try to be kind. You can ask hrm thesis help for thesis writing help. I think she is trying to tell us that we should always be kind because it will make the world better for everyone.

  4. Thank you for reading my posts. It means a lot to me that you’re taking the time to read them and that you enjoy them. Even though most of the poems don’t make total sense, I knew they wouldn’t be perfect from the start and also collegessaywriter reviews help to get quality work. That’s why I love writing them – because it’s always a journey of discovery and growth. Thank you for following me on this journey, and I hope you continue to do so in the future.

  5. Thanks, team DumpsCafe for preparing real exam dumps. It not only shortened my preparation period but also helped me to get high-flying numbers while doing 8 hours job in my office. Highly motivated, and highly recommended to all my colleagues to try DumpsCafe real exam questions and answers to pass it in their maiden attempt.

  6. The structure of the course is one of the things I enjoy most about it. It’s a cautionary tale about the cruelty of humanity and a call to action to treat others with kindness at all times. In my opinion, you should take some the backrooms

  7. Achieving an A++ grade in 2023 for your UEL Assignments with HND Assignment Help

    moodle uel login

    Scoring A grade in UEL assignment can be really difficult at times so it is important to follow the proven tips and tricks that can help in getting good score. So we have summed up few tips to help UEL students for getting high grade in their assignments. Get UEL Assignments from HND Assignment Help, Also get a 20% + 10% Discount on your 1st Order!

  8. kunjungi situs lagu korea online terpercaya Dan mudah untuk di unduh hanya dengan membuka situs matikiri yang merupakan salah satu situs terbaik untuk mengunduh lagu Korean terbaru dengan kualitas terbaik.

  9. Get HI6032 Leveraging IT for Business Advantage Assignment with Punjab Assignment Help

    Trimester 2023 Unit Code HI6032 Unit Title Leveraging IT for Business Advantage Assessment Type Group Assignment Assessment Title Group Presentation and Case Study Purpose of the assessment (with ULO Mapping) Each group will be allocated a topic and will prepare a presentation to discuss the topic associated issues and trends. Critically evaluate how technology can enable an organisation’s core business processes and support the strategic goals. Analyse and comprehend the issues that arise with the acquisition and adoption of technology and recommend possible solutions. Critically evaluate the ways in which information technology can contribute to organisational innovation, efficiency and overall corporate performance. Critically analyse and evaluate the key issues, challenges and opportunities associated with the latest developments in Information Systems.

    HI6032 Leveraging IT for Business Advantage

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *