Transforming the literary recovery of Zitkala-sa : a feminist perspective on the autobiographical essays
This thesis examines the ways in which Zitkala-Sa's autobiographical essays are a clear example of subversive writing that encompasses both her literary mastery of her native culture, Yankton Sioux of South Dakota, and U.S. dominant culture. This project discusses how a dual perspective of feminist and Native American criticism strengthens a literary analysis of the autobiographical essays to better understand one Native American woman writer's cultural location and goals. In the autobiographical essays, Zitkala-Sa calls into question patriarchal colonial philosophy toward the removal and education of Native Americans, especially children, saying, "but few there are who have paused to question whether real life or long-lasting death lies beneath this semblance of civilization" (Zitkala-Sa, "Indian" 386). This brave critique of U.S. patriarchal practices of missionary education and colonization challenges a U.S. history hostile to recognizing empowered Native American women who value the preservation of their culture. This challenge to colonial patriarchal practices establishes Zitkala-Sa!'s work as subversive because it refuses and transforms the conditions of Native American and improves their standard of living. Consequently, this thesis re-envisions the way in which feminists, Women Studies scholars, and the general public can utilize Zitkala-Sa's work as a model of activism, subversive writing and gynocratic living.
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Logan, Lisa M.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences;Indians of North America;Yankton Indians -- Biography;Zitkala Sa -- 1876-1938
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Reynolds, Margot R., "Transforming the literary recovery of Zitkala-sa : a feminist perspective on the autobiographical essays" (2002). HIM 1990-2015. 259.