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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 is Jack Older convinced that he is Native American? Discuss how his character serves as a catalyst for the exploration of the larger themes of appropriation and entitlement.

Created: 10/18/21

Replies: 13

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

Why is Jack Older convinced that he is Native American? Discuss how his character serves as a catalyst for the exploration of the larger themes of appropriation and entitlement.

Why is Jack Older convinced that he is Native American, even though he is white? As a child, what does he misunderstand about his parents' farm that further reinforces this notion? Why does he think that Two Feathers "seemed like his destiny" (46), and how does this influence his actions? Discuss how his character serves as a catalyst for the exploration of the larger themes of appropriation and entitlement.


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

Join Date: 02/14/18

Posts: 47

RE: Why is Jack Older convinced that he ...

I never thought that Jack Older was convinced that he was a Native American. I just thought of him as a psychotic person, and I did not feel that his character was well developed. Did he kill the animals because he felt rejected by Two Feathers? I'll go re-read and come back.


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

Join Date: 10/21/21

Posts: 5

RE: Why is Jack Older convinced that he ...

He had an obsession with Two Feathers and seemed to use his false Native identity to try to impress her


Posted Oct. 22, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jamiek

Join Date: 11/21/17

Posts: 42

RE: Why is Jack Older convinced that he ...

I agree with the others that Jack Older never believed he was a Native American. He just wanted to get close to Two, and he thought that was the best way to do it. I, too, don't think he was well developed. He was bad from the start; had absolutely no redeeming qualities, and didn't grow or change at all during the story.


Posted Oct. 22, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Laura C

Join Date: 04/30/21

Posts: 26

RE: Why is Jack Older convinced that he ...

I agree with previous posts that Jack Older didn’t seem to me to really believe that he was a Native American. As Two pointed out, he didn’t even chose a name that would have been an authentic Indian name. He was interested in Two and thought feigning false heritage would help his cause, then when she spurned his advances, he retaliated by killing the animals she loved.


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

Join Date: 03/11/15

Posts: 113

RE: Why is Jack Older convinced that he ...

Jack Older was a sick, sick man who believed the ends justified the means, whether it was assuming what he thought was a Native American name, or killing innocent animals to hurt his employers and Two.


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

Join Date: 07/31/17

Posts: 62

RE: Why is Jack Older convinced that he ...

He is infatuated with Two Feathers and thought he could impress her with an Indian name. He also had a sexual proclivity for her and felt he would be able to get close to her if he identified as an Indian. The guy is a little sick in the head!!


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

Join Date: 11/21/16

Posts: 46

RE: Why is Jack Older convinced that he ...

I think Jack like many little boys may have played "cowboys and Indians" and liked to be the "different" kid in the game - he was a bit of a jerk as character. I also think Jack was kind of narcissistic and maybe wanted to project an image of a romanticized figure onto himself. As a narcissist it wouldn't be unreasonable for Jack to project onto Two Feathers the image he wanted himself - being an "Indian". But like many "white" people this projection is akin to what happened to indigenous people in America - the "whites" took what they wanted and left little if anything. Jack represents the ugly side of the "white" race - all self involved with little sense of responsibility and a huge sense of entitlement if things go wrong.


Posted Oct. 31, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BuffaloGirl

Join Date: 01/13/18

Posts: 150

RE: Why is Jack Older convinced that he ...

Jack Older was truly evil. I do believe that in his warped sociopath mind, he believed that he had every right to claim to be a Native American and to claim anything and anyone he wanted. When he couldn’t claim what he wanted, he turned his efforts toward revenge and hurting those who foiled him in the worst way possible; destroying in ghastly ways what they loved. He operated on the belief that because he was white and educated that he was entitled to anything he wanted. The only feature of his character that I wish the author would have eliminated was the facial tic. I felt this gave this unavoidable physical feature an evil connotation that is unfair to individuals who do have them.


Posted Nov. 03, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
skagitgrits's Gravatar
skagitgrits

Join Date: 02/24/17

Posts: 47

RE: Why is Jack Older convinced that he ...

I think Ms Verble developed a story of a young white boy who grew up on property that his family told him used to be Indian territory. Since he felt the property "belonged" to him then he thought it fair to claim to be Indian. In other words, he appropriated an identity without any conscious thought about the moral right of the appropriation and felt completely justified in doing so. A reasonable parable on identity appropriation, in particular that of tribes, is apparent in today's world as well. Just look at sports team who appropriated names (the Atlanta Braves, for example), mascots and chants that appropriate Indian culture with no thought about those they offend. There are products, take Land of the Lakes butter as another example where images of Indians are exploited for corporate gain.


Posted Nov. 03, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jeffs

Join Date: 06/18/12

Posts: 49

RE: Why is Jack Older convinced that he ...

I think that the character of Jack Older was well done. I thought he was bad from the start, but there was a point where i was not completely sure. I do believe that he appropriated his Indian identity from his past.


Posted Nov. 09, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 435

RE: Why is Jack Older convinced that he ...

I don't want to say he was evil. He was a sick man who did evil things. When you are sick like that, your mind believes and accepts what he wants to believe. During this time, he was infatuated with Two and became an Indian to get closer to her. When that didn't work, his emotions took over and he became angry at anything he thought she liked better than him. He decided to kill them, move them out of his way. With this type of personality disorder, he doesn't think or feel he is doing anything wrong.
His only thought is getting what he wants.


Posted Nov. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Jessica F

Join Date: 05/23/20

Posts: 146

RE: Why is Jack Older convinced that he ...

Jack was deranged. Why would a white man in this location and time period identify as American Indian? Clearly, he was using it as a ploy to get close to Two Feathers. Is that also why he got the job at the park? There's a lot we don't know about Jack; which is fine with me...the author is allowing us to set up our own evil character ;)


Posted Dec. 07, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
julianna

Join Date: 10/10/13

Posts: 41

RE: Why is Jack Older convinced that he ...

He may have convinced himself he was an Indian to justify his weird behaviors. Hard to know whether he believed it was so or just used it to get what he thought he wanted.


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