Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Vital Bond

Journal No. 17
English 48B
Dr. Scott Lankford
Author I Chose: Zitkala Ša

From "Impressions of an Indian Childhood"

I. "Before this peculiar experience I have no distinct memory of having recognized any vital bond between myself and my own shadow. I never gave it an afterthought."

II. Zitkala Ša is explaining the little girl's awareness (or lack of prior to this instance) of her own being and how it relates to the world around her.

III. The little girl has been playing and chasing her own shadow when she comes across a group of friends. When the friends ask what she is doing, she tells them that she is chasing her shadow. She then invites them to chase her shadow, as well. During this time, she never realizes that her shadow is in fact a part of her own self. She has assumed that her shadow has its own identity and its own purpose. It could choose to go anywhere it wanted to, and yet it continued to tease her, always staying just beyond her reach.

When the little girl invites her friends to join her, she never encourages them to chase their own shadows. She has invited them, instead, to only chase her shadow. I think that this is representative of the innocence that we possess at such a young age. We do not realize how we are connected to everything else around us. Not only has the young girl failed to recognize that she controls her own shadow, but she has also failed to realize that other people also have control of their own shadows. She is so captured by her imagined ability to keep this playmate constantly close that she fails to realize that she has an impact on the people around her as well as on herself. Ultimately, she is responsible for her actions as much as any other being might be of their own.


Scott said...

20 points. So much we know, and do not know, at that age.