What Sacagawea Means To Me Analysis

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Yuying Mao (Alexa) 04/19/2015 EAD II, Section 4 4.3 Professor Kalteissen Living in Diversity The future of America, the country often being described as “the most diverse country in the world,” might thus depend on, to a great extent, how this country and its people deal with this unique kind of diversity. The unique diversity could be traced back to the early development of this country—the foundation of America and its territorial expansion may be more or less a process of “including” everyone on its land. By putting a quote around including it means this process could also involve unfortunate exclusion like colonizing aboriginal residents. This is the jumping-off point of Sherman Alexie’s essay “What Sacagawea Means to Me,” where he…show more content…
However, the trick here is that the contradiction from different groups could coexist homogeneously. It actually has happened in the foundation of this country, in Lewis and Clark Expedition for example. Alexie claims that “this country exists, in whole and in part, because Sacagawea helped Lewis and Clark. In the land that came to be called Idaho, she acted as diplomat between her long-lost brother and the Lewis and Clark party” (107). For now it could be hard to infer why Sacagawea did not seek revenge against the colonization, let alone the fact that the Expedition was quite harsh to her, a young woman carrying a baby. However, what could be soundly inferred is that without her negotiation, it might have been impossible for Lewis and Clark to understand Indian tribes and convey their thoughts. Alexie claims she is such a “magical” contradiction, and the Expedition could be successful primarily because Lewis and Clark included contradictions like Sacagawea in their team. It is not a coincidence that the Expedition including contradictions conforms to Anzaldua’s new tribalism, because the coexistence of contradiction has always been a topic of this country. Anzaldua gives examples of modern contradictions, which might throw light on why Sacagawea does not seek a revenge. Anzaldua “questions the terms white and women of color by showing that whiteness may not be applied to all whites, because some possess women-of-color consciousness, just as some women of color bear white consciousness” (136). Here Anzaldua questions the black-or-white definition of different groups, since she realizes that there could be something contradictory in between—Sacagawea is exactly an example. It can be thus inferred that Sacagawea that time has somewhat “borne white consciousness.”
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