Essay on Themes Of The Indian Removal Act Of 1830 By Louise Erdrich

819 Words Sep 18th, 2014 4 Pages
Following the Indian Removal Act of 1830, countless Native American tribes were forced to leave their lands by the United States government. The physical removal is known as the Trail of Tears, for the vicious and brutal conditions withstood by the victims of forced relocation. As an affect, displacement results in loss and pain for social, cultural, and religious values, unique to topography. Overtime, succeeding generations must come to terms with the suffering endured by their ancestry. Although not all Native American tribes endured the same hardships, the notion of displacement is a commonality. Specifically, negotiating individual identity while balancing native traditions and beliefs with imposing American ideals. In Louise Erdrich’s novel Tracks, native traditions are scrutinized by American ideals that take the form of Christianity, in which Pauline experiences great turmoil in negotiating her identity.
The tension between Christianity and native religions manifests itself into the identity of Pauline in Tracks. Pauline demonstrates the religious tension by failing to ward off the evil spirits in her nightmares with both Christian and native amulets. Pauline’s nightmares are so severe, Pauline would “raise dark bruises” on the arms and legs of Sophie and Philomena (66). Bernadette takes pity on Pauline and pays Moses Pillager to make a “special hoop of light split ash, crisscrossed with catgut web, a dreamcatcher” (66). Pauline hangs the dreamcatcher alongside her…

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