The Writings Of Scott Momaday Essay

2626 words - 11 pages

Scott Momaday is an author that uses his roots to weave enchanting stories that reach into the heart of things that we ordinarily overlook. He uses nature as an instrument, to illustrate the beauty in the simple, nearly forgotten knowledge of the Native American people. His stories are rich with meaning, but in a subtle way that only really makes sense once you have experienced the same type of search for self. They are steeped in the oral traditions of his ancestors to make supremely compelling stories with layers upon layers of culture and knowledge that are easily relatable and understandable.
Momaday was born on February 27, 1934, at the Kiowa and Comanche Indian Hospital in Lawton, Oklahoma, to Alfred Momaday, a Kiowa painter, and Natachee Scott, a part-Cherokee woman. From his birth, Momaday lived and played with various Indian tribes across Arizona, not only to the Kiowa traditions of his father's family but to the Navajo, Apache and Pueblo Indian cultures of the Southwest, an invaluable experience that would color his philosophy and writing indelibly. Momaday himself has said "I am an Indian and I believe I'm fortunate to have the heritage I have," and "I grew up in two worlds and straddle both those worlds even now, it has made for confusion and a richness in my life. I've been able to deal with it reasonably well, I think, and I value it."
House Made of Dawn was published in 1968, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969. Its success and acclaim sparked what scholars call the Native American Renaissance, paving the way for other Native American writers to publish works which deal with Native life in the United States.
House Made of Dawn takes its title from a translation of a Navajo song which is part of an extensive religious ceremony. The song alludes to it as the home of the semi-divine personification of the dawn. “Male deity! Your offering I make. I have prepared a smoke for you. Restore my feet for me, Restore my legs for me, Restore my body for me, Restore my mind for me…” Throughout the novel, important events and insights occur at dawn or sunrise. The setting for House Made of Dawn is a Native American reservation in New Mexico called Walatowa, and then later, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. The story begins in 1945 and ends in 1952. The setting is important for its indigenous Native American cultures and history, while the time is important for its notably changed post-WWII way of life. The protagonist, Abel, struggles to balance the traditional Navajo way of life and the more destructive, urban world of postwar America. This is one of the major conflicts in the novel.
Abel, the protagonist of the novel, lives on a reservation in New Mexico with his grandfather, his mother and older brother having died, until he goes to war. He comes home and commits murder. He is put into jail for six years and is relocated to Los Angeles, California where he works in a factory for a short time and then is...

Find Another Essay On The Writings of Scott Momaday

The Writings of Sigmund Freud Essay

3068 words - 12 pages The Writings of Sigmund Freud Sigmund Freud remains a figure whose influence it is hard to over-state. While many of his ideas in the field of depth psychology, a field he largely created, have been compromised and challenged over the course of the 20th century his influence remains palpable. We continue to use terms that Freud originated almost unthinkingly - concepts of frustration, aggression, guilt, anxiety

Don Quixote: The Writings of Cervantes

863 words - 4 pages The writings of Cervantes may have been influenced by the writings of Shakespeare, Petrarch, etc. regarding concepts such as the story-within-a-story and the tyrannical female image, giving them a spot in the classical genre. However, Don Quixote has received multiple criticism for its style of writing and ambiguity, but of course, like many other authors, Cervantes had a clear reason why there were mini-narratives surrounding the main one

The Life and Writings of W.E.B. DuBois

1845 words - 7 pages writings to give encouragement to blacks, so that they can have a reason to be proud and have pride in everything they may accomplish. DuBois had used the pen to encourage blacks to always fight for the rights that they have had been denied, because he knew that everyone should be treated fairly and equally. In the 1920’s assimilation was the best method of treating discrimination against African Americans. In a cultural and diverse society

The Life an Writings of Mark Twain

1442 words - 6 pages president of the Anti-Imperialist League. Many of his new perspectives were compiled into his book Following the Equator. With his finances in order once more he found his way back to the United States . The majority of his life from his arrival in America to his death was punctuated with struggle. In the writings from the ladder portion of his life, he took a very critical and dark tone. His last writings were examining the inhumanity,avarice

The Life and Writings of Dickens

1371 words - 5 pages to a point that landed John in debtors’ prison. After his father went to prison, at the age of twelve, Charles had to go to work for a few months as a warehouse employee, blackening shoes and putting labels on boxes. During this period in his life, (while his father was in jail) was painful for him and is later influenced in some of his writings such as the novel David Copperfield. His father was the inspiration of one of the characters, Mr

The Life and Writings of Kurt Vonnegut

2173 words - 9 pages as a young write was modeled by thoroughness and fastnesses to meet deadlines in his writings during high school years. Later in 1940, at Cornel University, Ithaca, Vonnegut studied biochemistry and published a number of articles in the Cornell Sun. He was enrolled in the United States Army in 1943 and sent to Europe in the Dresden war in Germany, following his mother’s death in the same year (Krementz, p.2589). His experiences at Dresden

The Life and Writings of Gore Vidal

2305 words - 9 pages about important American figures such as Scott Fitzgerald, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Tennessee Williams, most of whom he had actually known. His essays harshly commented on people such as Richard Nixon and Theodore Roosevelt, whom he called “an American sissy.” In Pink Triangle and the Yellow Star, Vidal showed some very surprising similarities between the persecution of Jews and Homosexuals (Parini). He even freely criticized against the Kennedy

The Life and Writings of John Updike

1406 words - 6 pages for his careful craftsmanship, and his unique prose style. He wrote on average a book a year. Despite in his books about characters, themes, and attitudes, John Updike based his writings on his life experiences because he wanted to put a personal feeling in his books. John Updike was born on March 18, 1932 in Reading, Pennsylvania. He was raised in a small town of Shillington. He grew up being the only child. He lived with his father Wesley

The Life and Writings of Samuel Clemens

1939 words - 8 pages Samuel Langhorne Clemens, or more widely-known for his pen name Mark Twain, is recognized as the father of American Literature due to his distinctive and “Americanized” literary styles, which set him aside from all other literature genre at the time. Destined to become a legendary figure, Mark Twain’s birth and death were observed with Halley’s Comet blazed across the sky. Though his writings were produced in nineteenth century, many of those

Review of The Writings of the New Testament

613 words - 3 pages The Writings of the New Testament, by Luke Timothy Johnson is currently in it’s third edition, which is updated with study and reflection questions to help the reader delve deeper into the material through personal study. It is also accompanied by a companion website for teachers and students to be used in a classroom setting. The book is over five hundred pages long and has twenty-six chapters broken up into six parts: The Symbolic World of

The Effects of the Civil War on Abraham Lincoln's Writings

1116 words - 4 pages than Everett's because peoples' minds began to wander during the two hour speech. Lincoln made the point he intended to do in two minutes. News papers criticized it. Lincoln also believed that his speech was a failure.Lincoln did not have many other writings. He did have the Lincoln-Douglas debates which were also on the issue of slavery. The Dred Scott decision helped mobilize the antislavery opinion. It took two weeks for Lincoln to study and

Similar Essays

Understanding The House Made Of Dawn By Scott Momaday

1388 words - 6 pages Understanding The House Made of Dawn by Scott Momaday      In 1969, N. Scott Momaday became the first Native American to win the Pulitzer Prize in the area of Letters, Drama, and Music for best Fiction.  As Schubnell relates in N. Scott Momaday: The Cultural and Literary Background, Momaday initially could not believe that he had won a prize for a work that began as a poem (93).  Schubnell cites one juror who explains his reasoning

Life And Writings Of Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald

942 words - 4 pages who battled through relocation and unemployment. “What people are ashamed of usually makes a good story” (Fitzgerald) Such an experience allowed him to see both the impact of not having wealth and the distance from afar of those that had it. Scott Fitzgerald's writings typically involved the lives of wealthy, glamorous people, and their private problems. His writings also reflected a lot on relationships and life itself. Fitzgerald examined an

The Canon Of Biblical Writings Essay

3226 words - 13 pages The Canon of Biblical Writings For centuries now Christians have claimed to possess the special revelation of an omnipotent, loving Deity who is sovereign over all of His creation. This special revelation is in written form and is what has come to be known as The Bible which consists of two books. The first book is the Hebrew Scriptures, written by prophets in a time that was before Christ, and the second book is the New Testament

The Writings Of Richard Wright Essay

728 words - 3 pages The Writings of Richard Wright Throughout history, the writings of many talented authors have reflected the time period in which they lived. Often the overall tone, and attitude of the novel is due to factors such as the environment in which the author was raised, or moral ethics that were instilled into their way of thinking. Richard Wright is an African-American author whose writings greatly reflected the time period in