Indians, Environment, and Identity on the Borders of by Lindsey Claire Smith (auth.)

By Lindsey Claire Smith (auth.)

The authors mentioned during this publication, together with James Fenimore Cooper, William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Leslie Marmon Silko, position this cross-cultural touch in nature, not just collapsing cultural and racial obstacles, but additionally complicating divisions among 'wilderness' and 'civilization.'

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Additional info for Indians, Environment, and Identity on the Borders of American Literature: From Faulkner and Morrison to Walker and Silko

Sample text

Throughout, Bumppo seems hyperconcerned with estimating his own value according to sometimes disparate cultural criteria and comparing that estimation to the attributes of both Indian and white others. Bumppo’s efforts of self-analysis are most evident in his relationships with other male characters, including Gamut, Heyward, Uncas, and Chingachgook. Hawkeye’s encounters with Gamut reveal his conflicted feelings about the merits of Christianity, especially relative to the life in the woods that he has long been living.

Brown, who had ties to the University of Mississippi during Faulkner’s brief tenure there (11). The idea came about in 1945 when Malcolm Cowley proposed a Viking Portable Library volume to collect some of Faulkner’s work and get it into print again (Blotner 1187). Faulkner planned to collect several Indian stories that he had already written and to include some new ones, ultimately tracing the history of Jefferson, the town based on Oxford in his works, back through the history of the Indians who lived there originally (1187).

As Samuels asserts, “The novel might be said to locate the future of national culture in the wrapping of Alice’s body” (99). Despite Alice’s strides, she is not prepared to go head-to-head with Magua, which is exactly what Cora does. Perhaps because of her own diverse heritage, her “dark secret” that could potentially lead to her enslavement if exposed, Cora exhibits a complex interest in Magua. On first seeing him, she displays “an indescribable look of pity, admiration, and horror” (21). Though he represents to her a savage villainy that she has surely been warned against, Magua is nevertheless similar to her in his affiliation with a European power structure that degrades him.

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