Author Rita Ferrari speaks of the kind of amalgamation that is demanded of the native culture and how other scholars, David E. Johnson and Scott Michaelsen in Border Theory view it. "In discussing the border between Anglo and Amerindian cultures, they suggest thinking of the complexity - the profound interrelationship of the very ideas of European and indigenous cultures - as a product of colonialist thought from its inception." (Ferrari 1999 3) Allen Chavkin discusses the making of an ethnic novel as seen by Rainwater and how the role of the author is to unsettle the reader with the reality of discomfort in assimilation, "Rainwater investigates the potential reader's experience of American Indian texts. She sees ethnic signs embedded in certain texts by Indian writers, including Erdrich, that function as a continual source of disruption and undermine a comfortable interpretive position for the reader." (Chavkin 6)
Jeanne Armstrong discusses the interplay between the individual character's tragedies and the symbolism that they explain through the overlay between culture and character. "In Louise Erdrich Tracks the characters are shaped by the historical context that they inhabit...The novel's personal events are framed by the larger context, including the breakdown of community and loss of land when the Turcot Lumber Company pressures people to sell land to them, causing conflict between those who want to sell and those who resist." (Armstrong 17)
Trade and spirit were regulated to meet the needs of the white world but humor outlasts both, "I got a herd of this Indian beef corralled out in the woodpile and branded the government way," I told him. "I'm planning on holding a roundup." (Erdrich 1988) When Nanapush was so destitute that he was eating rotting gopher meat he jokes with his nephew Eli about the stark reality of how trapped they are for resources. This cultural generation of humor within Erdrich's novel Tracks does not go unnoticed by other scholars "In Louise Erdrich's novel Tracks, humor provides powerful medicine as the Chippewa tribe struggles for their physical, spiritual, and cultural survival at the beginning of the twentieth century." (Gregory 1998) When critics discuss the character of Nanapush and his role in assimilation they compare it to the ideas associated with black assimilation to the extreme what might be known as something Zora Neil Hurston refers to as "Uncle Tomming." "As with muddying the truth by story-telling, then, "Uncle Tomming" is a tool of the trickster, but this mimetic practice shows the lie behind the truth, rather than changing the truth by means of the lie. (Hughes 87) In this example assimilation becomes a tool for the colonized to see inside the world of the
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