Pride In Thomas King's 'Borders'

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In Thomas King’s “Borders” the borders are significant because they are created by pride. The borders are where the conflict of the story evolves. The word pride or versions of it are used often through the story pointing to its significance. The conflict that these prideful borders create, keep the character of the mother from achieving what she wants. The mother wants to cross into the United States to visit her daughter but cannot because she won’t claim American or Canadian citizenship. She wants her daughter to stay on the reserve and to have a good relationship but pride stops her from expressing her feelings and achieving this. The mothers pride in her culture creates a separation between herself, the border…show more content…
The mother shows that she has pride in their heritage by wanting to share it with her son. She does this by passing down the stories of their ancestors and hoping that they will continue; her son remembers that, “she was serious about it. She’d tell them slow, repeating parts as she went, as if she expected me to remember them” (225). She does not only want people to know what her heritage is but also what it isn’t. This concept is shown when the narrator and the mother are getting ready for their trip and he reports that he “had to dress up, too, for my mother did not want us crossing the border looking like Americans” (219). Now that the mothers pride in her heritage has been established she demonstrates this pride when she is asked to declare her citizenship and the borders are evidently…show more content…
The mother, holding on to her heritage, speaks in Blackfoot while the daughter replies back in English, “‘You can still see the mountain from here,’ my mother told Laetitia in Blackfoot. ‘Lots of mountains in Salt Lake,’ Laetitia told her in English” (219). The mother does not want her daughter to move away from the reserve. She does not encourage Laetitia to travel because she does not want Laetitia to lose her heritage. We see this when the mother tries to convince her to stay by finding flaws in the American culture. When dropping Laetitia off at the border she claims that “this is real lousy coffee… It’s the water. From here on down, they got lousy water” (218-219). She also boasts about their home and where they are from, “we got a water tower on the reserve” (218). When Laetitia tries to bring up reasons why she wants to move to Salt Lake City her mother continues to contradict her opinions and gives reasons for why their home is superior, including, “Got all the skiing we can use…People come from all over the world to ski at Banff” (222). Pride allows them to express their opinions but not their
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