Summary Of The Literary Assignment Mdc Summary

899 words - 4 pages

Summary 1:
Using Thomas King's Medicine River, Tomson Highway's Dry Lips Oughta More to Kapuskasing and selected short stories from Sherman Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, I will examine how the absentee father exists as a literary archetype in this Aboriginal fiction: both as a social representation and as a literary device necessary for the Aboriginal father to be reincarnated in the sons. Where have all the Aboriginal fathers gone? The Father as a literary archetype in North American Aboriginal fiction can be seen as a casualty of colonial process, embodying the proverbial "vanishing Indian." Where Aboriginal women, it has been argued, have enjoyed some continuity of their social role as mothers and managers of home/ community (although devalued in western culture), Aboriginal men have suffered centuries of social/ political emasculation as well as a deskilling and devaluing of their labour in the economic arena. Through this literary process, which requires the use of rhythm, ritual, and rites of passage, the male protagonist(s) are able to resurrect traditional notions of Aboriginal masculinities, (re)create their roles in a contemporary context, and (re)define Aboriginal manhood in the process, especially as it relates to their relationships with Aboriginal women. Sometimes he is erased completely--replaced by a Euro-North American--as in Thomas King's Medicine River, echoing a colonial process that both displaced Aboriginal manhood and supplanted him as father in his own family--a ubiquitous and genocidal colonial practice known as assimilation through miscegenation. The authors that I chose for this comparative analysis are Aboriginal males whose works examine those points of cultural disruption from a male point of view: an approach that not only offers insight into father/son relationships from a qualitatively different perspective than we might encounter from Aboriginal women authors, but also adds another dimension to our understanding of how Aboriginal peoples experience the effects of colonization in their interpersonal lives. How does Aboriginal manhood fall from grace? By what process is the warrior transformed into the invisible, ineffectual eunuch? Through colonization, Aboriginal men have been emasculated in a number of ways, including: the devaluing of their traditional modes of production (such as hunting and fishing); the mass deskilling of their labour (achieved by streaming them toward unskilled jobs and away from trades or academics); and, discrimination in the marketplace (systemic and overt). With both parents are now dead, their unresolved angst plays out in Will's life, where he must come to know the father in himself--to father himself--before he can (re)define himself as an Aboriginal male within the context of his community, and ultimately, (re)create his role within it. The final scene in Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing depicts the reincarnation of the Aboriginal Father in Zachary, who...

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