Voices and images of the American Indian in literature for young people

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dc.contributor.advisor Schulte, Emerita S. en_US
dc.contributor.author Hoilman, Dona Gubler en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n------ en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2011-06-03T19:26:50Z
dc.date.available 2011-06-03T19:26:50Z
dc.date.created 1980 en_US
dc.date.issued 1980
dc.identifier LD2489.Z68 1980 .H6 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/handle/handle/176832
dc.description.abstract American Indians have not vanished, As of the 1970's, they are 800,000 strong and increasing. Their voices, long muffled, are finally penetrating the consciousness of mainstream Americans, and people have begun to realize that America's treatment of the Indians constitutes a national disgrace.One aspect of the shameful treatment of Indians is the racism perpetuated by literature about Indians and by the neglect of literature by Indians. From its earliest to its latest depictions of Indians, literature has frequently drawn stereotyped images and presented distorted information. There are four major stereotypes: the noble red man, the ignoble savage, the comic buffoon, and the helpless victim. Once such unrealistic portraits have been engraved on the imagination and have educed prejudiced attitudes, the stereotypes are difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate. Research has evidenced that young minds are note impressionable than those of adults and more malleable. Therefore, the books they read are of crucial importance. But heretofore in-depth studies of the quality of young people's literature by and about American Indians have been lacking.Careful evaluation of purportedly factual information books for children and adolescents reveals that many contain misinformation and distortion but that those published in the first half of the 1970's are generally better than earlier ones in several respects: they treat more diverse and lesser known culture groups, consider both sides of conflicts, tackle controversial subjects, evaluate critically government policies, and present an Indian point of view.Analysis of children's fiction, adolescents' novels, biographies, and autobiographies reveals that books employing all of the major stereotypes are still being published, but that careful selection enables youngsters to find memorable, high-quality books which draw a wide variety of realistic, humane images. Recently some books have been published especially for Indian school children, whose self-images have been deleteriously affected by the images whites have of them.A comparison of children's collections of folktales with the sources from which they were adapted reveals the kinds of changes that have been made and determines that some are justifiable in the interests of making the Indian oral heritage comprehensible to non-Indian youngsters and that some are not because they violate the integrity of the tales. But although there are problems in translating and adapting the tales, they are worth the trouble, for they are entertaining and instructive; they offer a different view of reality, which may be more accurate than heretofore supposed. Numerous worthwhile adaptations are available.The functions and forms of traditional Indian poetry are different from those of other American poetry and may be puzzling to non-Indian students. Nevertheless, translators are obligated to preserve the original form and spirit insofar as possible. Successful compromises have been effected, and such poetry offers much enjoyment, especially to youngsters capable of an affective response of the senses. The nature metaphors and symbols that bespeak an attitude of wonder and awe have great appeal, as do the emphasis on the oneness of nature and the affirmation of life.Contemporary poetry is the genre in which more Indian writers are working than any other. A remnant of that faith in the efficacy of the poetic word which ancient singers had still inheres in modern poets and gives their work a "yea-saying" tone which attracts young poetry enthusiasts. The vivid images and the emphasis on continuity with the past and Mother Earth are especially appealing. Like mainstream poetry in some respects, Indian poetry has aspects that make it unique. The voices of modern poets join others of the present and past in asking that Indians be allowed to take their rightful places in a truly pluralistic America. en_US
dc.format.extent 456 leaves ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Indians in literature. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh American literature -- Indian authors. en_US
dc.title Voices and images of the American Indian in literature for young people en_US
dc.description.degree Thesis (Ph. D.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url http://liblink.bsu.edu/catkey/239344 en_US

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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3248]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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