This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Changes Of Cultural Identity Essay

2318 words - 10 pages

What determines identity? Dictionaries describes it as, “the fact of being who or what a person it.” However what makes you who you are? Or better yet, what you are? Your name, and the way you look make up the “who”, of whom you are; just the same, religion, culture and beliefs makes up the what. Joseph Boyden’s Three Day Road was strongly based on the relationship between Xavier Bird and Elijah Whiskeyjack. It illustrates how their native cultural identity changes throughout the novel and shapes their personal identity into becoming something monstrous. Xavier becomes the person he loathed Elijah for being, and loses his most treasured morals, while Elijah loses all his culture and transforms into the type of being that harmed him as a child. Elijah’s self-identity is shaped through a battlefield setting, not only in war but in residential schooling. He learns to adapt to the new environment in order to survive, while Xavier’s was shaped in a home setting. The differences between the two boys help shape the similarities of them in the end. The three main key factors that differentiate Elijah’s and Xavier’s identity is their respect for Oji-Cree culture, their respect and love for other human beings, and their general personality traits. In the end, the culture of war has the biggest effect on their self-identity and changes Xavier into the monster he so desperately did not want to become.

Raised in an Oji-Cree household by Niska, a medicine woman of Oji-Cree decent, Xavier had an abundance of aboriginal culture in his lifestyle, he speaks almost pure Cree language and knows very little English; only enough to be able to communicate with the other soldiers, which is very little; the white soldiers only accept Elijah. Xavier’s close association with his aboriginal culture is shown through the novel when he speaks to himself as a narrator. “All of them stare down at me. I look up, sitting cross-legged with one of the horses sprawled beside me, its head on my lap. I look like I’ve been painted red. The smell of blood is heavy. It covers the wooden walls, the floor, the straw upon the floor. Elijah sees that one of my hands rests on the floor with my skinning knife in it. The horse’s neck gapes open along its big artery.” (Page 189) Having respect for animals is a major part of the Oji-Cree morals. The respect for animals shows the emotions compassion and love, if Xavier’s morals were against cruelty to wild animals there is an obvious assumption that he would also be against cruelty against other human beings as well. This is a key factor into how he loses his morals, and compassion towards the end, and shows the differences between Xavier and Elijah’s values for life. For instance, the scene on 238-239 with the birds was a good reinforcement of Elijah’s betrayal of the ideologies of his heritage. He tries to convince Xavier to follow Breech’s orders to knock down the birds nest that Xavier had watched all afternoon, “fascinated.” Elijah...

Find Another Essay On Changes of Cultural Identity

How Surf Life Saving Has Come to Form Part of Australia's Cultural Identity

1710 words - 7 pages This discussion paper will identify how Surf Life Saving has come to form part of Australia’s cultural identity, through a contemporary and historical perspective. Surf Life Saving, (2014) states that the surf lifesaving organisation acts as the major water safety, drowning prevention and rescue authority within Australia, and has been doing so since 1907. Surf Life Saving (2014) establishes that the philosophy of Surf Life Saving is to create a

Representations of cultural identity influenced by historical conditions in Brian Friels Translations

1422 words - 6 pages With reference to Translations discuss how the representations of a cultural identity are influenced by the historical conditions in which they are produced.Brian Friel is an Irish playwright and a founding member of the Field Day Theatre Company. Friel's plays most often centre around colonial relations between Ireland and Britain, and although his plays are of significant artistic value, it is Friel's approach to dealing with the volatile

North of Nowhere?: The Signifigance of Canadian Cultural Identity in Genre Films Produced During the "Tax Shelter Years"

2336 words - 9 pages North of Nowhere?:Cultural Identity in Genre Films Produced During the "Tax Shelter Years"More than twenty years after its original release, a puerile high school sex comedy remains the highest grossing Canadian film of all time. If you ask many of those who made it such a financial success, they probably had no idea that was a Canadian film. In "Porky's" none of the characters are Canadian, in fact, the film is set in Florida, and its subject

Use the text extract from "The Bonesetter's Daughter" by Amy Tan to talk about your own sense of cross cultural identity

1072 words - 4 pages culture is useless, no matter what the mother does, she will not appreciate it.In Singapore, we are a part of two cultures, which implies that we should be cross-cultural, but unfortunately, some of us are neither here nor there. Some may be bicultural, which is a good sign, but others, they may be lost and have no distinct sense of place, self and identity. For me, I think that I am more leaned towards the Chinese culture, for I grew in a rather

"Cultural identity is shaped by the values, way of life and the aspirations of the community that they live in." Discuss this statement, with close reference to 'The Shipping News' by E Annie Proulx

1222 words - 5 pages The cultural identity of an individual is shaped by a range of factors, including the values, way of life and aspirations of the community in which they live. The Shipping News, by E Annie Proulx, provides an outstanding analysis of the way that cultural identity is shaped by such elements. Newfoundland residents are represented as individuals whose lives are very much shaped by their isolated coastal, 'sea dependent' existence. A dysfunctional

After the Ball, by Leo Tolstoy: The Impact of Cultural Objects on Individual Social Identity

1612 words - 6 pages experience at the ball, as well as in life, can have multiple meanings, and how those values affect an individual’s stature in class structure. Assigning cultural value to objects is done in both positive and negative manners, and the value of things can change based on its actual use, how a box can be used to store things as well as what you leave your office with when you get fired, for example. However in that instance, value is assigned by how

The Woman Warrior and The Interesting Narrative

1607 words - 6 pages while Equiano is attempting to create a dynamic identity that changes with the situation he is placed in, Kingston’s identity is centered on having the past cause greater influence. Evidence to this extent is in Equiano’s consistent changing of his cultural identity to fit a new scenario. For example, when he leaves his native Africa, it appears as though he is also leaving behind the vestiges of his cultural identity behind

the roles of languages in culture

1048 words - 4 pages person to make changes in which language and cultural identities they want to identify with. Open University (2010) asserts that "identities are not fixed and constant; they change too". It can be concludes that language is not the only tools that embrace identity; there are some other external factors that helps the process of identity formation.Language also works as a mean of connecting a cultural community that share the same collective identity

Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North

2586 words - 11 pages believes Sa’eed to be stupid. It is not until Sa’eed gets very drunk with the narrator and begins to recite poetry that the narrator’s perception of him changes. He is not a simple farmer dubbed as ‘stupid’ anymore, but instead the nystery continues as the narrator discovers that Sa’eed has a cultural identity similar to his, so much more than the little town of Wad Hamid. In his article, Hall goes on to define identity as “perhaps instead of thinking

We’re Not Asking You To Give Up Yoga Pants: Identifying Religious Symbolism in Daily Life

1311 words - 6 pages practices the particular tenants of that religion. What this means is no particular individual or groups can actually claim ownership over religious material as religion is global, it trespasses, regionalism, and cultural limitation, and practices differ based on its amalgamation with other aspects of people’s identity. Lets take the veiling by Muslim women for instance; there are so many variation from how a veil is worn, to types of veils, to

F Word by Firoozeh Dumas

1137 words - 5 pages depends upon the mixture of all parts of one’s life including personal choices and cultural and societal influences, but personal choices affect the identity of one more than the others. A name changing the identity of one is exactly what happened to Firoozeh “Julie” Dumas. Before her name change, Dumas was regarded as being one of those immigrants with a name no one wanted to learn. But after changing her name to Julie, Dumas was widely

Similar Essays

Cultural Identity Of Blacks From 1865 1940

1767 words - 7 pages Cultural Identity from 1865-1940The cultural identity of blacks in the United States from 1865 through 1940 progressed from a racism based on inferiority due to bloodlines and biology to a racism centered on socio-economic policies and beliefs. Blacks that were middle-class in the 1900's were still considered "niggers," and not fully human (Lorini, 39). Racism was prominent during the world's fair era, with the imperialist dogmatic belief that

Cultural Identity And The Language Of Food

4270 words - 17 pages Cultural Identity and the Language of Food Food is integral to cultural identity and is as much a part of culture as religion and language. Indeed, some cultures elevate food to a level nearing, if not exceeding, the status of their religion. Because I love to cook, to combine flavors in a way that results in something unexpected and wonderful, this paper will discuss various words related to food. Not actual food words, but words

The Cultural Construction Of Gender And Representation Of Identity In Soaps And Music Videos

2060 words - 9 pages Soaps but more importantly music videos can be said to interrogate the cultural construction of gender and representations of identity. The video suggests a set of images to the viewer and usually these are a blurring of gender and identity. Music videos predicate on the representation of female gender experience. The two interrelated sign systems- access signs and discovery signs- will be discussed. Music clips that will be focused on are

Race And The Census: Effect On The Social Context Of Cultural And Social Identity

2049 words - 8 pages The focus of this research study is to explore the construct of race in the census survey and the effect that it has on the social context of both cultural and social identity. These changes are based on the evolving landscape of the population as it pertains to the characteristics of its people. The Census was first administered in the 1790 and would take place every ten years . Its main purpose was to better respond to the needs of its