Cultural Identity In An Indian Father's Plea By Robert Lee

1312 Words 6 Pages
Cultural Identity is something that makes people who they are; it can deeply affect how you see the world because it shapes how you perceive new things. And as a child, many people do not realize the impact observed actions can have on someone when forming cultural identity. How a person grows up can really change who they are as a person, due to the great influence that parents and caregivers have on the children in their early years. Not only that but, when a child is exposed to a new environment or community they can begin to do things differently than their parents and that can begin to change them. Cultural identity has a great influence on how people live and how they see the world. To begin with, the way a person grows up affects …show more content…
This information gathered from surroundings gets engraved into their mind.“An Indian Father 's Plea” by Robert Lake is about a boy named Wind-Wolf who is a slow learner and has no confidence after being bullied by other students. Wind-Wolf’s father writes, “...for the third time in two weeks, he came home crying...he said he doesn 't have any friends at school because they make fun of his long hair...he recently encountered his first harsh case of racism...so now my young Indian child does not want to go to school anymore...he feels that he does not belong”(Lake 78). Here, Wind-Wolf has a lot of trouble making friends and if he does other children 's parents do not give their kids permission to be around him. On top of that, he is a “slow learner,” as stated by his school teacher. Due to his family’s rich history, they have put in a lot of time and effort to teach Wind-Wolf about his background and culture, such as language and sacred ceremonies. Wind-Wolf is put into a tough position due to the conflicting cultures he has been put into. He doesn 't know what to do about his own culture, due to the fact that he is bullied for having it. This harsh treatment causes him to refuse to take part in his own religion. Wind-Wolf refuses to sing native songs, learn his language, or play with his artifacts. As a result of this, Wind-Wolf’s cultural identity has changed including his …show more content…
The story Everyday Use, by Alice Walker tells how when Mama called her daughter, Dee by her name, and she rejected it and said, “Not ‘Dee’, Wangero Leewanka Kemanjo!” (Walker 3). A sudden change in identity, provoked by what? Well this story was based around Dee’s first time coming home since leaving her sister and mother, but now she has changed her clothes, speech, and even her name. Although ‘Wangero’ did do all these things herself, nevertheless, when she moved away she had the outside influence of a new environment which most likely encouraged this behavior. However, there may be a deeper root to this problem; the switch from Dee to Wangero is fairly drastic and sudden, and must have had another reason. A theory that is common today with many kids who grow up to be nothing like their parents is that once they have control of their life, they make every effort to not be like their parents; they even go to extremes. This may be because of their desire to be their own person, or maybe because of another influence in their early life. ‘Wangero’ claims to have switched her name because she “couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppressed [her].” (Walker 4) Although her mother explains that ‘Dee’ is a family name not from her oppressors. This idea of her name coming from oppressors clearly

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