Title

Contradictions and Dualities in Ohiyesa’s “The Ghost Dance War”

Faculty Mentor(s)

Tanya Bennett

Campus

Dahlonega

Proposal Type

Presentation - completed/ongoing

Subject Area

English/Communications

Location

LTC 382

Start Date

30-3-2015 9:00 AM

Description/Abstract

In the 1800s, many Native Americans, including the doctor/writer Ohiyesa, or Charles Eastman, chose to live their lives according to white customs rather than their traditional values for a variety of reasons, including ease of living, and social and cultural acceptance. Naturally, the cultural duality that Eastman experienced on a daily basis led to some startling contradictions, in his own behavior as well as that of the people around him, both white and native. As a doctor, rather than attempting to integrate his two warring identities, Eastman chose to suppress his Native culture in favor of whole-heartedly adopting the customs of the white men. Yet, as a writer attempting to reconcile his two selves in “The Ghost Dance War,” Eastman reveals the disturbing inconsistencies in thought and behavior patterns that he experienced and observed. This study analyzes Eastman's autobiography as an expression of his dual identity and the challenges it presented.

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Mar 30th, 9:00 AM

Contradictions and Dualities in Ohiyesa’s “The Ghost Dance War”

LTC 382

In the 1800s, many Native Americans, including the doctor/writer Ohiyesa, or Charles Eastman, chose to live their lives according to white customs rather than their traditional values for a variety of reasons, including ease of living, and social and cultural acceptance. Naturally, the cultural duality that Eastman experienced on a daily basis led to some startling contradictions, in his own behavior as well as that of the people around him, both white and native. As a doctor, rather than attempting to integrate his two warring identities, Eastman chose to suppress his Native culture in favor of whole-heartedly adopting the customs of the white men. Yet, as a writer attempting to reconcile his two selves in “The Ghost Dance War,” Eastman reveals the disturbing inconsistencies in thought and behavior patterns that he experienced and observed. This study analyzes Eastman's autobiography as an expression of his dual identity and the challenges it presented.