Also, the storytelling tone is part of the problem King wishes to speak about, that Native people are never really taken seriously and understood from their own points of view, but instead have been lumped into one big category, Native, and viewed as a sort of childish un-advanced race of people. As he says of his Native creation myth, “the conversation voice tends to highlight the exuberance of the story but diminishes its authority” (King, 2003, p. This is a central theme throughout the book—usually evident among Native performers who had to struggle to figure out whether they were still Native Americans or something else entirely--along with the stereotyping that causes this main problem.King makes it very clear throughout that one of the big problems with “the Native problem” is unrealistic views of Native Americans handed down from the 18th century or even earlier in a few cases. He relates the story of Edward Sheriff Curtis, a photographer who went around the USA in 1900 taking pictures of various Native peoples (King, 2003, p. The problem with Curtis is that he was “looking for the literary Indian, the dying Indian, the imaginative construct”, so much so that he “took along boxes of Indian” props to dress up people who did not fit that image (King, 2003, p. King compares this literary Indian to the “Indian of Fact”, which are the real Native Americans who do not fit into peoples expectations at all most of the time (King, 2003, p. The problem, then, is not who people are, but what others think they should be based on their own stereotypes. Identity is a malleable thing and is vulnerable to definition by. Thomas King's The truth about stories.
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