Cruelty and Kindness in "Halfbreed"
A study of the themes kindness and cruelty in the autobiographical novel, "Halfbreed" by Maria Campbell.
# 9793 | 927 words | 1 source | MLA | 2002 |
Published on Jan 31, 2003 in English (Analysis) , Native-American Studies (General) , Canadian Studies (Gender, Race, Class issues) , Literature (Canadian)
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The paper examines the novel, "Halfbreed" by Maria Campbell, an autobiography where Campbell describes the struggles of her life centered around her being a halfbreed, a half-Indian and half-white person, rejected by both the Indian and the white people. The paper shows that cruelty and kindness are important themes of Campbell's story. Firstly, there is the human cruelty of discrimination, represented by the acts of the people. Secondly, it describes the cruelty of society, where society oppresses people. Finally, the paper discusses a belief in human kindness that allows Campbell to overcome the struggles, with the writing of the autobiography an act of reaching out to the people who have discriminated against her and offering them the opportunity to understand the cruelty of their ways and choose to change these ways.
From the Paper:"Campbell shows that it is the basis of society that is responsible for the treatment of the halfbreeds. The halfbreeds are homeless because the government took their land from them, forcing them to live in poverty. Their culture was never accepted, instead they were expected to fit into the Canadian culture. This separated the halfbreeds from the rest of society, forcing them to be seen as outcasts. Campbell expresses this process when she says recalls her grandmother's words, "My Cheechum used to tell me that when the government gives you something, they take all that you have in return - your pride, your dignity, all the things that make you a living soul.""
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