Painted Tongue Stereotypes

Words: 1106
Pages: 5

Although violence is not Painted Tongue’s only form of expression, these other ones such as humming and mimicry are heavily influenced by other people’s perception of him and thus limit the effectiveness of them. Unfortunately, it seems as if these forms of expression are a better tool against colonialism than violence, but they never reach their full potential due to the limitations. The limitations are generally stereotypes or generalizations.
Instead of speaking, Painted Tongue hums. He hums his war song (Boyden 56) when protecting his territory, and when expressing his identity. He hums to communicate emotions like someone else might yell or cry, but this humming disturbs, even frightens people (Boyden 54, 56, 61, 65). The most prominent case of this is when Painted Tongue hums his death chant to the dying gay jogger, and realizes how terrifying and peculiar it most have been for him (Boyden 65-66). In this moment, Painted Tongue is realizing the real effects of stereotypes on his expression. When Painted Tongue is only trying to protect his turf through humming
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A huge factor of colonialism is negative stereotypes aimed at minorities, for example the stereotype of the ‘drunk Indian lunatic’ also mentioned before. Razack’s essay identifies the harmful nature of the stereotype in the trial of Pamela George (Razack 149), connecting stereotypes to dehumanization (Razack 149). To be dehumanized is proof enough that the western culture is still holding onto a colonial mindset with the colonized being seen as lesser. However, dehumanization does not end there, it also disconnects the dehumanized, for example Pamela george, from their culture thus stealing one of the only tools of decolonisation. Expression of one’s cultural, and individual identity is the only way push back colonialism, and Boyden makes this the focus of his character, Painted