Assimilation In Robert Frost's Up Ghost River

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Assimilation, as shown through the events in Up Ghost River, is the underlying factor that creates an environment where an imbalance between cultures is accepted and allowed in Canada. Native peoples are generally thought of as the subject of assimilation, however they also play a role in creating a gap between non-native Canadians and themselves. Native people have been pushed down in their resistance to stop assimilation for so long that it has come to the point where they either must submit and change their culture or live a life of poverty. Anything they try and do to break out of this cycle generally ends in the same way:“Any resistance is met with the threat of arrest by the police. Your not sure where your children are going….You’re …show more content…
Although not all non-native Canadians were aware of the extremes of assimilation, few even questioned what was truly happening. Few people looked into what was truly going on and this ignorance led to thousands of native kids suffering the brutal effects of residential school and being removed from their family. Even Ed’s future wife was oblivious to the brutal things that had occurred at St. anne’s even though she was an employee there: ““Whipped you?” “Yeah, it happened a lot.” “At St. Anne’s? Where I work?””(Metatawabin, Pg. 144). Even the Ryans who treated Ed and the other native children that they fostered with kindness didn’t question the practice of assimilation. It is surprising to see that people who seemed so caring would volunteer to knowingly foster kids who were taken away from their parents at a young age. This truly depicts how unaware many non native canadian citizens were to what was truly happening to native peoples. This has had a very big effect on the gap that has been created between native and non native people in Canada. Other people who played big roles in Ed’s life, such as Sister Wesley and Brother Jutras are the people who truly tried to destroy native culture and by doing so contributed to the imbalance of power that is present in Canada today. They knew exactly what they were doing and they believed that they needed to “kill the Indian, Save the man” and actually strip away the ideals of young native children. They were under the impression that Native people were truly savages who needed a proper religion: “Savage boy. You’re disgusting.” (Metatawabin Pg. 93).These are the type of people that truly had a lasting effect on the Native Canadian community and have left scars on it even to this

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