Submitted By messyjesse7
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Jesse Gonzales
Professor Ewell
Composition and Literature Section 22
10 April 2012
Tracks Essay The novel Tracks is set in the Mid-West during a time of Whites’ westward expansion into Native American territory. Though the issue of encroaching upon western land is usually brushed over in modern history books and seen as just a process in order to fully acclaim the area now know as the United States, the intrusion by the Whites into Native American occupied land was very traumatizing. The power struggle of Whites versus Native Americans was easily dominated by the technologically advanced white settlers who demanded prominence over the Native Americans and treated them like inferiors which mentally affected pure breed and half breed Indians who could never gain equality during their time. The biggest issue in the novel Tracks is this daunting burden of White power over Native American power in the characters daily actions and thoughts which adversely affected their children and communities. Pauline, being the half-breed Native American, is severely plagued with grief about her identity and how she should be acting. Pauline’s father was Native American and wanted her to preserve the dying traditions but was scorned with her persistent desires to act and be white; he stated things like,” ‘You’ll fade out there,’ he said, reminding me that I was lighter than my sisters. ‘You won’t be an Indian once you return.’” (Erdrich 14). Pauline is being pulled back by her father to continue in certain Native American traditions since he knows that in order to save the culture it must be cherished and practiced, but Pauline in being influence by the white communities that she lives by and desperately wishes she could be like them. Pauline’s adolescent arrogance prompts her to push even farther away from her Native American identity and strive to be as white-washed as possible by retaliating and saying,” ‘Then maybe I won’t come back,’ I told him. I wanted to be like my mother, who showed her half-white. I wanted to be like my grandfather, pure Canadian. That was because even as a child I saw to hang back was to perish.” (Erdrich 14). She shares the same mind set of many people during this time that saw the white dominance and wanted to join the strong side and survive which means portraying one’s self as white as possible. Pauline’s identity crisis seems