Not Logged in.
Book Jacket

When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky


A deliciously strange and daringly original novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist ...
More about this book
Author Biography

What does Helen's response to Clive's inquiries about Native Americans inhabiting the land they are on reveal about the dominant narratives surrounding American settlement? Do you think that this has improved today?

Created: 10/18/21

Replies: 5

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2913

What does Helen's response to Clive's inquiries about Native Americans inhabiting the land they are on reveal about the dominant narratives surrounding American settlement? Do you think that this has improved today?

How does Helen respond when Clive inquires about Native Americans being prior inhabitants of the land they are on? What does her response reveal about the dominant narratives surrounding American settlement? What makes these narratives so problematic? Do you think that this has improved today? Why or why not?


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

Join Date: 11/21/16

Posts: 46

RE: What does Helen's response to ...

Helen represents the "average" person who doesn't seek to understand but takes in information and if it makes sense in the person's environment, then it stays as a "truism" to the person. Helen accepted the hearsay accounts of the indigenous peoples who had settled the Nashville area pre-white man settlement and didn't seem curious beyond that except that the "nasty savages" were gone. Most people in this country are woefully ignorant of history; it's like "out of sight, out of mind". American cinema has portrayed the "Indian" as a savage and that killing them was a right. John Ford who is remembered as a great director of American western in his declining years was troubled by his portrayal of Indians and sought forgiveness in his last movie, Cheyenne Autumn - unfortunately, the damage was done. those of us of my generation (post 70s) were indoctrinated into the believe that "white is right." Historically, the indigenous people have been treated horribly in this country and not much as changed today. David Treur in his marvelous book, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, updates the status of indigenous people (he's an Ojibwe) detailing many of their successes as well as failures due in many instances to white political policy and religious prejudice.


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

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 125

RE: What does Helen's response to ...

Someone recently said the winner writes the history. Unfortunately, this has been true. While History should seek to recount the true, factual accounting of what came before, it is always viewed through the lens of those who are recording it. We know, even today, with incidents on video recorded at the moment an event occurred that there are those who will shape any incident to benefit their cause and belief. Helen’s recounting demonstrates how powerful and dominating the chosen narrative can be particularly when one of the parties involved has full control of the narrative. Her insistence that the land was uninhabited, that the Native Americans were murderous and depraved, paints the settlers as the non offending victims, and the Native Americans as wild instigators. Native Americans were treated horribly by the U.S. government and still today our indigenous people are marginalized and deserve better. We know women’s history has been distorted and marginalized as has that of Black people and other people of color. There is a sad pattern here and it is my opinion that it is up to all of us to demand truth and facts and to do our best to speak up to counter lies and misinformation whenever we hear or see it. As a retired American History teacher my heart goes out to my fellow educators who are trying to teach accurate information in today’s politicized environment.


Posted Oct. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pauj's Gravatar
pauj

Join Date: 04/26/14

Posts: 51

RE: What does Helen's response to ...

Sadly, I don't think our collective consciousness has changed much in regard to white men's running rampant over indigenous tribes' rights. I think more individuals have become enlightened but we're a long way from making amends.


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

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 215

RE: What does Helen's response to ...

This is an aspect of the Doctrine of Manifest Destiny which to me means that white people thought they were meant to take over and control the world, whether near or far. I hope it is changing but it is very slow to do so.


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

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 415

RE: What does Helen's response to ...

There is very little that I could add to what has already been said. Janines has so well described our history. Unfortunately, this is also the history of the world. There has always been a political or religious group that felt the need to control and to suppress others. Race was not always the issue, perhaps the most obvious. Perhaps greed drives every nation.


Reply

Please login to post a response.