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Analysis of the Soft-Hearted Sioux Essay

The soft- hearted Sioux presents the transformation of a boy from a soft-hearted person to a cold man when he confronts the traditions of his tribe against Christy. The boy left home to a mission school where he learned about Christ and became more and more accustomed to the white man’s culture. At first I thought he just left home against his parents will because they wanted him to marry earlier. After I saw the video, I understood it was the white people who drove them to school in order to “civilize “them. But when he returned home, the first thing he has to face with was that his father was dying. But he still believed in the God could renew the life of his sick father. All he wanted to do was to spread Christianity to his tribe. Unfortunately, though he attempted to change the faith of the warriors, people thought the white Bible was worthless and treated him as a traitor. Failing to cure his father and bring him meat to eat, he felt guilty and finally decided to look for meat.

Though he found meat, his father had died and he had to go to the jail as a result of killing animals. He still didn’t know where he belonged to except waiting for death. When reading the passage, I was impressed by the use of personification. Such as “my eyes swam in tears” which means crying, and “ when the sun lowered in the west and the winds were quiet” “ the strong breath of winter crusted the snow.” and “ wondering if the high sky likewise separated the soft-hearted son of GOD from us”. The author described the wind, winter and sky as a person who has feelings. The irony is that he did as what his father wanted but he had to go to the jail because he killed animals. The author illustrates the difference in the nature of soft-hearted “I” and the warriors in order to explain that the little boy had been totally brainwashed. He learned the white people’s value system and didn’t believe in his own culture. It was a tragedy to himself.

As for me ,a Chinese who is majoring in Korean ,I need to learn about the Korean culture, literature, and value system. I should to be open-minded to new things but it doesn’t mean I can forget traditional Chinese culture and become a Korean totally. i always told myself to try and be a better person and learn as many new things as possible as you can but do not become another person. In contrast with me, the boy went to the mission school out of the government’s policy not his own will. In this point of will, It was a tragedy to all the native Americans. The author ,Zitkala-sa ,wrote this in first person point of view, making me draw a connection between myself and the little boy. Or maybe she just wrote this according to lots of her own experience. This passage made me think of “ what is an American”, written by crevecoevr. To tell the truth , I do not really agree with the descriptions about Americans in this passage.

He only described the poor Europeans who immigrated to American, leaving out the Natives. He described American as a person who leaves behind prejudice and manners and receives new ones from the new mode of life. But the truth is that the white people killed millions of natives and made them move. They tried to civilize them by religion. On the one hand, they said everyone is equal and free. But on the other hand ,they thought the black are ugly and treated them as “happy” servants. They claimed everyone has a human right but they deprived the black people’s human right. It’s just like you were killed by a man who smiled at you several minutes ago. In brief , I think the passage is so one-sided and only showed us the positive things . We can change but do not become another person. History may be painful but never forget about it.


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