By Peter B. High
A survey of the English prose, poetry and drama of the USA from Colonial instances to the1980s.
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When ye take the deer, do not take the best. Take the smaller and the slower and then the deer will grow stronger and always give you meat” (9). . . and the Cherokee. It is so with people who store and fat themselves with more than their share. They will have it taken from them. . and they will make long talks, trying to hold more than their share. . . but they will not change the rules of The Way” (10). Cloaked in stereotypical Indian mysticism, Carter inserts his own fanatical (some might say fascist) tenets of social conservatism.
Such sinister undertones and appropriations of Native creeds serve to neutralize any actual appreciation for the losses incurred by Indians on southern soil. Tangible cruelty toward Native Americans is ﬁgured brieﬂy in the ﬁlm when Little Tree’s grandparents are caught moon-shining, and Little Tree is summarily sent away to a boarding school. Historically, such institutions attempted to Americanize Native youth, insuring a new generation of “civilized,” docile citizens — “killing the Indian to save the man,” as the creed went.
First, the “regionalist” frame proposed by Tol Foster’s “Relations and Regionality” in Reasoning Together: The Native Critics Collective makes possible a grounded, pragmatic perspective on the exceptional history and cultures of remnant southeastern Indians. Like the experience of many residual and partially assimilated eastern peoples more broadly, or of mixedblood or urban Indians who lack ties to reserva- 18 INTRODUCTION tion communities or federal recognition, Native southerners’ hybrid and occluded presence both within the region and the broader terrain of Native studies makes ﬁtting them into tribal-national models particularly complex and challenging.
An Outline of American Literature by Peter B. High