The Death And Rebirth Of The Seneca Analysis

Great Essays
In Anthony F.C. Wallace’s The Death and Rebirth of The Seneca, the narrator examines the Huron tribe’s practice of “war parties” - taking people hostage to avenge their battle casualties. More specifically, he targets the story of a particular victim named Joseph, who was taken by the Huron for the very same practice. In considering the evolution of his tale from kidnapping to death, the narrator touches upon important sociological concepts, including status in society and its rules, social consciousness, the motivations of suicide, the normality of action, the idea of the “organized game,” the language of movement, the notion of the looking-glass self, and the concept of the “marginal man.” With a status in society comes responsibilities. As Ralph Linton said in his essay, Status and Role, “[Status and role] become models for organizing the attitudes and behavior of the individual so that these will be congruous with those of the other individuals participating in the expression of the pattern” (Linton 202). This concept is apparent in Wallace’s work, namely in the torture component of the war party. In the procedure, the tribe ascribes the status of victim to someone they take from an enemy tribe with the role (expectation) that the victim be defiant of the tribe’s actions, well composed, and …show more content…
For Joseph, this included hosting a feast for everyone in advance of the event. This tradition hearkens back to Linton’s notion of statuses being attached to various roles. Joseph’s status as a man who is soon to be tortured as per the war party comes with the role (or expectation) that he have a communal event where everyone is fed and has fun in advance of the enactment of the ancient tribal tradition. Additionally, those concepts are seen in the seating arrangement, as the elders of the tribe are given platforms to sit on, while the younger members are forced to squeeze together on the

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