Native American Culture and Identity in Sherman Alexie's Smoke Signals and the Business of Fancydancing

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GRIN Verlag, 2011 - 40 pages
Seminar paper from the year 2010 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,3, University of Münster, language: English, abstract: Post-colonial literature is still present nowadays. Native Americans are living in the modern America but also in their own culture. Sherman Alexie has made notable movies about Native Americans living in modern North America. As a Native American by himself these movies might offer a new perspective on colonized people. Obviously, the field of post-colonialism is closely connected to his movies as the Native Americans have to deal with their history. There is no doubt that Native Americans possess an own identity and an own culture which is mixed up on their native and the non-native identity - a hybrid identity. In the following I will firstly introduce an election of important theorists of post-colonial studies and explain the key concepts that are vital for the upcoming analysis of the movies Smoke Signals and The Business of Fancydancing. After this I will have a closer look to selected scenes of both movies in order to detect indications of hybridity. To what extend are Native Americans coined by the Americanization and to what extent are the Native Americans keeping their own and independent culture or is it indistinguishable from the culture of their colonizers? I will try to expose the different cultural characteristics of indigenous identity, how these cultural traits are presented and if they give indication for their cultural identity. Is the primeval culture of the constellation of generation declined? In this paper I will give an answer to the question in what way this hybridity is reflected. What effect has hybridity on the perception of history?

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Smoke Signals
The Business of Fancydancing

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