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When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky


A deliciously strange and daringly original novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist ...
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Why does Two say that she doesn't have any formal religion? Despite this, what are some of Two's spiritual beliefs What did her Papaw mean when he said that "the whites' religion is one of their greatest evils"?

Created: 10/18/21

Replies: 9

Posted Oct. 18, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

Why does Two say that she doesn't have any formal religion? Despite this, what are some of Two's spiritual beliefs What did her Papaw mean when he said that "the whites' religion is one of their greatest evils"?

Why does Two say that she doesn't have any formal religion? Despite this, what are some of Two's spiritual beliefs and why does she choose not to speak about them at Glendale? What did her Papaw mean when he said that "the whites' religion is one of their greatest evils" (338)? How does Two think that this religion changed people's outlook on the natural world?


Posted Oct. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janines

Join Date: 11/21/16

Posts: 46

RE: Why does Two say that she doesn'...

When addressing religion, I think Two Feathers means she has no “formal” religion recognized by white society. Her “religion” if you will comes from her Cherokee heritage and its reverence for nature in all its forms. I think she disdains speaking about religion because she has a sense of history wherein she is fully aware of how white settlers treated the indigenous populations in the name of more than “manifest destiny.” That is, American history and federal policy was one of taming the “red man” and making him into a “white” one (This Tender Land is wonderful story about this policy). Pawpaw’s observation about religion has merit - again look at history from the Crusades on where wars were fought for religion reasons with some not do great outcomes. In the white man’s desire to get land and grow rich, the concerns for nature were never a concern - are they even today? - whereas indigenous people have recognized in their traditions the need to preserve the resources of the land in order to survive. This I believe is what Two Feathers recognizes when she views white society. That is, this society is not always willing to “listen” to the animals (I loved how Two Feathers would commune with the zoo animals) and view natural surroundings with more reverence.


Posted Oct. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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skagitgrits

Join Date: 02/24/17

Posts: 47

RE: You say Potato and I say Patato

Two Feathers says she has "no formal religion" since she is responding to questions or comments from non natives. The Tribes have known a great deal of harm in the name of religion. Think only of the Indian Schools program where children were removed from their families and placed in schools run by religious groups to indoctrinate and assimilate Indians into white America. The harm done by that government sanctioned policy alone has come to light just recently with the bodies found in cemeteries and the stories of child abuse perpetuated by those entrusted with the children's lives that are only now being taken seriously, as an example. It is clear from Two's belief system, her actions when smudging her room in the boarding house, her reaction to seeing spirits, her relationship with the animals in the zoo that she is, in fact, a deeply religious person.


Posted Oct. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gerrieb

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 154

RE: Why does Two say that she doesn'...

I agree with the above posts. PawPaw made it very clear that whites use their religion as a vehicle for destruction of others and the planet. The very name The Holy Wars ( the Crusades) says it all.


Posted Oct. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 215

RE: Why does Two say that she doesn'...

Two Feathers did not belong to any church but she venerated her elders and the spirit of animals. The religion of whites has been used as a reason to take over other people and lands throughout history and into the present.


Posted Oct. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
catherynez

Join Date: 01/27/18

Posts: 82

RE: Why does Two say that she doesn'...

I agree with the above comments. She didn’t have a formal religion like the white people. Her beliefs were based on the beliefs of her family and Cherokee culture.


Posted Oct. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 211

RE: Why does Two say that she doesn'...

I think she very much had a religious/spiritual background. I took this to mean that the people she and her family had met who were immersed in organized religions had
proved to them they were hypocritical, not showing a regard for other people that you would expect from someone who purports to be a religious advocate.


Posted Nov. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 435

RE: Why does Two say that she doesn'...

When Two Feathers refers to "formal religion" I think she is speaking of the missionaries and religious leaders that often came to the Indian lands to instruct them in what "they" should be believing. Pawpaw saw this as destructive and hypocritical because it was often used to punish, belittle and destroy the natural ways in which the natives saw the spiritual world. Two Feathers was very spiritual. She knew or felt the spirit of every living thing: man, animals, plants... She also became aware of the spirits that had passed, her grandmother and Little Elf.


Posted Nov. 14, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
judyg

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 40

RE: Why does Two say that she doesn'...

Two Feathers was not limited by formal organized religion and her spirituality shown throughout the book as one of the gifts the author gave her readers. Believing in the spirit of all living things is an Indian way of live I’ve always admired and tried to emulate. The purity of thought and caring about the earth and all creatures is such a refreshing topic to read about. Along with Two Feathers’ and other characters’ belief in ghosts/spirits from beyond this theme imbued the story with a richness not typically found in the average novel.


Posted Nov. 15, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BuffaloGirl

Join Date: 01/13/18

Posts: 150

RE: Why does Two say that she doesn'...

My thoughts are that Native Americans did not consider theirs beliefs in a greater being, an afterlife, the creation (according to the stories handed down within their tribe), etc. to be “religion”. They were simply their participation in and explanation for their world as they knew it. They experienced firsthand the destructive aspects of organized Christianity: forced conversion, slavery, destruction of the environment, separation of families under the guise of Manifest Destiny (the white man’s belief/excuse that God had chosen the white race to take control the American continent and exploit it for his wants).


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