The IUP Journal of English Studies
“Re-Storying” to Reverse the Game of Silence: Louise Erdrich’s Narrative Rescue from Reductive Western Discourses

Article Details
Pub. Date : Sep, 2019
Product Name : The IUP Journal of English Studies
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJES31909
Author Name : Virender Pal and Divyajyoti Singh
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
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No. of Pages : 11

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Abstract

Development of Native Literatures is one of the most important developments of the twentieth century. The literature written by the Natives not only tries to resuscitate their culture which had been under attack for many centuries by the colonial powers, but it is also an attempt to shatter the stereotypes that have shown tremendous resilience in popular culture and literature. The current paper is a study of Native American writer Louise Erdrich’s novel The Game of Silence. The novel gives the readers a peep into the lifestyle of the Native Americans. In the course of showing the readers the lifestyle of Ojibwe people, Erdrich shows that the Natives were not barbarians or cannibals as shown by the colonial narratives, rather they cultivated and nurtured a culture that made excellent use of local conditions and environment. The novel also discusses the religious beliefs of the Natives and makes clear that the religion of the Indians was not a superstition as described by the missionaries and the colonial writers. The Natives in the novel appear to be sagacious, kindhearted, and morally upright. Erdrich shows that the Indians were inherently civilized. For them, civilizational etiquette did not lie in outer appearance; rather it was a part of their daily routine and an integral part of their existence.


Introduction

Achebe (2000, 605), in his book Home and Exile, points out, “The twentieth century for all its many faults did witness a significant beginning, in Africa and elsewhere in the so-called Third world, of the process of re-storying peoples who had been knocked silent by the trauma of all kinds of dispossession.” Achebe admits that the process of re-storying is difficult because of “badly damaged sense of self” and “erosion of self-esteem of the dispossessed.”


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