Zitkala-Sa’s American Indian Stories describes her journeys through western settler’s efforts to
civilize Native Americans. This assimilation effort was not limited to bombarding the students with unfamiliar academic work, but also stripping their Native American identities by cutting their hair and forcing them to wear western clothing. Catherine Kunce’s article “Fire of Eden” sheds further light on the nature of Zitkala-Sa’s later endeavors, including excelling in debate and teaching at the Carlisle Indian School, and how her appeal to western civilization was more symbiotic than American Indian Stories implies. With the attitude taken by Western missionaries, and others intimately involved within the Native American assimilation effort, any contribution to Western society was taken as evidence of the effective conversion of natives from
civilized people. Due to this viewpoint on her actions, the change in Zitkala-Sa caused by Native American assimilation, and her participation by teaching in the boarding schools, shows her school experience in a positive light in the eyes of her captors due to the efficacy of the assimilation programs in producing western members of society from Native Americans.
Read the rest of this entry »
I Am Nujood: Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali with Delphine Minoui is a memoir set in contemporary Yemen. Ali was born to a poor family in Khardji, a rural town with a culture inundated in old tradition. Ali describes the experience of being married-away at the age of 10 to keep the rest of her family fed, and the torment she endures at the hand of her new husband. In the end, Nujood seeks the protection of the courts, and becomes the voice for abused women everywhere.
I Am Nujood: Age 10 and Divorced shows the slow social progress in rural areas. In rural Yemen it is common practice for fathers to marry-off their daughters at a very young age, while people in the cities are shocked to see a child at the age of 10 demanding a divorce. I Am Nujood: Age 10 and Divorced describes the persecution of rural Yemeni women by unquestioned traditionalism. Read the rest of this entry »
“Of Mouselike Bites and Marathons” is a January 21, 2012, Nytimes.com article by Frank Bruni on the health choices of acclaimed chefs. The author argues that the health choices of acclaimed chefs are often obscured from public view by the shows and publications they are in to promote more appetizing and extravagant meals to their audiences. The author uses first-hand accounts from inside the industry to illustrate this hypocrisy.