Native Americans and Hispanics in "Animal Dreams" Analytical Essay by Nicky

An analysis of how Barbara Kingsolver portrays Native-American and Hispanic people in her novel, "Animal Dreams".
# 150691 | 1,059 words | 1 source | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on Mar 30, 2012 in Anthropology (Cultural) , Literature (American) , Native-American Studies (General)

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The paper analyzes how Kingsolver portrays Hispanic and Native Americans favorably in her novel. The paper highlights her writing style and specifically identifies the techniques of dual narration and vibrant details. The paper also points out her clear devotion to her subjects and respect for these cultures.

From the Paper:

"Codi and her family are Hispanics, although Kingsolver never really states this in the novel. It becomes clear as the novel progresses and the culture of Grace becomes known. Their real names are Hispanic, many of the townspeople are Hispanic, and their celebrations are all based on Hispanic celebrations, such as the Day of the Dead at the opening of the book, and the "little fiesta" Emelina organizes for Labor Day weekend. Even the pinatas the children play with are part of the Hispanic culture. Kingsolver seamlessly blends all of these elements into the book, so the reader is aware of them but not too aware of them. They seem like the elements of any American culture, things that are traditional and commonplace in any community, which is one way she manages to portray Hispanics with dignity and sympathy. They do not seem different or alien; they simply appear as "normal" everyday human beings. This is one way Kingsolver portrays the Hispanic community favorably, by not making them different, unusual, or odd in any way. Their actions and culture are natural, not forced, and so, their society seems somehow superior and admirable as a result. Kingsolver also portrays the best parts of the culture, while using gentle humor to portray some of the quirks of the society, such as the grandmother's many collections, and the gossip at the "Stitch and Bitch" club meetings. She understands the nuances of the culture, and portrays them accurately, helping them become much more sympathetic to the reader."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Kingsolver, Barbara. Animal Dreams. New York: Harper Collins, 1990.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

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