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The Education Of" Little Tree" By Forrest Carter. Discussing Diversity Issues In The Book, The Education Of Little Tree.

1015 words - 4 pages

AbstractLittle Tree was an orphaned Indian boy who was taken in by his grandparents. As the book's title suggests, Little Tree was educated and learned many things from his "granpa" and "granma." It was during the stressful era of the Great Depression, the stock market crash, the Indian Reorganization Act, prohibition, and continuing oppression of the Native Americans, that several diversity issues became apparent to Little Tree. In this paper, I will expound upon some of the diversity issues that Little Tree encountered.Title: Exploring Diversity Issues Encountered by Little Tree in his Quest for Knowledge.In the book, The Education of Little Tree, grandparents of a five-year-old, Native-American boy informally adopted their grandson after his parents passed away in 1930. They affectionately called him Little Tree. He was a very naïve and impressionable, little boy who treasured the many years he lived with his grandparents in the mountains.While living in the mountains, Little Tree was constantly learning; he learned "the way" of the Cherokee, the way of the mountains, the way of the "guvmint", the way of the politician, the way of the Christians, and most importantly the way of life. The young boy also learned the meaning of the passing song and before leaving the mountains he was forced to revisit the hard lesson of mortality: this time as it related to age.Little Tree received much of his home-school education from his granma, granpa and a family friend, Mr. Wine. His granma would read to him daily and she required him to learn five words a week from the dictionary. She also suggested that Little Tree practiced the words in daily conversations during the week. His granpa, in an attempt to empower Little Tree and teach him a trade, also taught him to count money, among other things. But the learning did not stop there; the very wise Mr. Wine taught Little Tree "valuing", "figgering", and how to tell time. His grandparents gave their unconditional positive regard for Little Tree and he grew up with a high self-esteem and a high sense self-worth, which aided in his educational growth.The book goes on to describe experiences of many subtle diversity issues such as culture, religion, and gender roles, to name a few. Below are examples of how Little Tree absorbed such issues.CultureLittle Tree and his grandparents used broken English; a dialect commonly referred to as "mountain talk." This dialect can be related to a fairly new concept called ebonics. In both of these exclusive, cultural languages, words take on new meaning and people are seemingly free to create new words at will. Other people not familiar with the culture or dialect may have difficulty interpreting the meaning and often, miscommunication occurs.The author, Forrest Carter, in chapter five of the book, described one example of this dialect. The chapter was entitled "I kin ye, Bonnie Bee." "I kin ye" means I understand you and therefore love you. Granpa explained to Little...

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