Examining Native American Popular Culture English Literature Essay Free Essay

Make you cognize Jackie Chan is dead? A Los Angeles infirmary reported that Jackie Chan had died of a bosom onslaught on 3/29/2011. Fans swarmed Facebook after verification of his passing came through a beginning near to Chan. It shows that people believe information from the media, whether true or non, and are unable to separate which is right. This comparatively minor intelligence narrative reflects how media can inaccurately picture world even over long period of clip and with whole sections of the population, such as Native Americans. We have all been affected by the media, and this includes a perpetuated misconception of our image of Native Americans. There were one time more than 500 folks in the United States, each with their ain civilization and society. But from books, telecasting and films, they are shown as barbarous slayers on horseback, shriek, and scalping people. Our popular civilization has characterized Native Americans as inferior and hostile, which is based on a history created by white work forces to warrant their development of Native Americans.

In Sherman Alexie ‘s essay “ I Hated Tonto ( Still Do ) ” ( 1998 ) , he argues the struggle between himself and the stereotyped Indians in the films. Alexie supports his claims that he was inspired by the films to be a fair-haired and igniter skinned individual ; nevertheless, he found that he had lost his self-pride. His intent is to demo that the films do non stand for the existent Indians, such as himself, but portray that of the stereotyped Indians. He seems frustrated as he tries to propose that Americans should alter their position of Native Americans. In the beginning, Alexie explains “ I was a small Spokane Indian male child who read every book and proverb every film about Indians, no affair how awful ” . Alexie states that he loved all Indian films, good and bad. He would acquire so into these films that he would conceive of himself as a cinematic Indian. As Alexie matured and began to recognize that the Indians he knew in his mundane life were nil like the Indians portrayed in these films, he began to accept his Indian heritage. This was one of the chief grounds he did non like Tonto ; he was an Indian who really played the function of a existent Indian but shown through the eyes of the telecasting manufacturers, non that of existent life of Indians. It is good that he got over these stereotypes as he got older, as it opened his eyes to see that he could besides go the stereotyped Indian, but was really far different from what was being portrayed.

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In Walter C. Fleming ‘s “ Myths and Stereotypes About Native Americans ” , he examines the right ways to look at the existent Native Americans from the popular civilization. Fleming supports his claims that American Indians are the vanishing ruddy adult male from the position of stereotyping, while in fact, about 4.4 million Native Americans are populating in the United States. His intent is to state Americans that it is clip to reconstruct the Native American ‘s image ; the myths and stereotypes on which America was built demand to be confronted. James Earle Fraser ( 1918 ) “ End of the Trail ” , shows that Native Americans are a deceasing race ; they look like the tired Equus caballus and individual in his picture. In fact, there are still Indians around, and they are one of the fastest turning population groups in this state. But people would n’t recognize that if they spent clip watching films about Indians. In the films, Indians are dead and gone. Depending on the film, they may be seen as “ good ” ( Dances with Wolves ) or “ bad ” ( The Searchers ) , but it ‘s about ever a fact that they are shown to be hostile against Whites. And even if the Indians do n’t wholly physically disappear, so their civilization disappears, go forthing them, “ non truly Indian anymore. ”

There are illimitable popular cultural illustrations that manifest how Americans view Native Americans as crude civilization whose adult females are sexual marauder. One such illustration is Disney ‘s 1953 movie Peter Pan. In one scene of the movie the Indians sing “ What Makes the Red Man Red? ” The music becomes crude membranophone whipping and is cliff-hanging and baleful in assorted deep-throated oinks and face picture. Peter Pan dances with the slender Indian miss, Tiger Lilly, who is cunning, sexy and with long hair. She flirts with Peter Pan and actively invites him to dance with her ; on the other manus, Peter Pan feels highly flattered and flustered. He enjoys dancing with her accompanied by the monosyllabic music. Peter Pan ne’er had this sort of experience before, and it seemed that he fell in love with the attractive miss. But Wendy, in her function as a female parent figure, was covetous that they danced together. This scene suggests that Indian misss attract white work forces, and the white adult females are fighting to maintain white work forces. It besides shows the idealised word picture of adult females that should hold duties and civilisation, while demoing the unfavourable word picture of Native American misss as being barbarian and irresponsible. The worst portion is that about all of the Indian characters are literally drawn precisely the same manner, as if to state, “ If you ‘ve seen one, you ‘ve seen them all ” .

In the film The Searchers ( 1958 ) , the dramatized individual, Ethan Edwards, an ex-Confederate soldier from the Indian Wars, finds that his household had been massacred and his niece Debbie captured by the Comanche Indians and vows to convey her dorsum and putting to death every one of the Indians who did this to him. He is joined by his nephew, Martin Pawley, who is 1/8th Indian and there ‘s nil in the universe that Edwards hates more than Indians. They travel for five old ages in order to happen his niece. And when he does, he realizes even though she has been found she has become one of the Indians. In the Comanche collapsible shelter, Ethan and Martin see Debbie who is now a adolescent. Unfortunately, Debbie tells them to go forth her ; the Comanche are her people now. Ethan moves to kill Debbie, but Martin blocks him. Ethan is confused ; how can he confront his niece, who has now become assimilated and accepted into the folk? Finally, an interior transmutation shows him love, community, and fraternity alternatively of his usual force, purdah, and racism. The great scene is that he is cradling her in his weaponries and says, “ Let ‘s travel place, Debbie. ” Debbie finally returns to the white wAt is clip to reconstruct the image of Native Americans who have played of import functions in American history. Of class, their function in history was sometimes hostile due to the fact that Whites were working them and they were merely seeking to protect what was truly theirs. Today, many reserves have casinos to convey income to their occupants because the U.S. authorities does non supply even basic lodging for them, but province authoritiess are upset because the income from chancing is revenue enhancement free. The Americans owe the Indians, at the least they can demo regard for the people they are.

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