Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Sun Hung Low

Journal No. 16
English 48B
Dr. Scott Lankford
Author I Chose: Zitkala Ša

From "Impressions of an Indian Childhood"

I. "I was always glad when the sun hung low in the west, for then my mother sent me to invite the neighboring old men and women to eat supper with us."

II. Zitkala Ša describes the little girl's desire to hear the tales of the tribe's elders.

III. The little girl (who is never named- is it Ša herself?) enjoys the time when she is able to sit down on her mother's lap while listening to the elders of the village tell tales of adventure and intrigue. Often, her deceased uncle is mentioned in the tales since he was a much repsected and brave warrior. However, even if her uncle was not featured in the evening's stories, the little girl finds herself being happily whisked away into the centers of the stories.

The little girl seems to appreciate that tales and stories are entrances into other lands and sometimes even other worlds (spiritual worlds). She listens with intense curiosity to how the rest of the world lives beyond her own home. She finds an acceptable form of escape suitable for a seven-year-old girl as she listens to stories of magical moods, far-away fantasy lands, and even sinister events. While we do learn later on that she does have an unsatiated need for adventure, for now this is her closest chance at living a life outside of her own. Perhaps the tales that she listened to almost every evening enhanced the longing to experience these things on her own.


Scott said...

20 points. As Native American author Leslie Marmon Silko writes, "All we have are the stories."