childhood-Question and answers
the Red Indian
Q1.What do you know about
Carlisle Indian School?
Ans.Carlisle Indian School was a school
run by the British to educate the Red Indians and the British students. It had
strict rules and regulations for all students. The students had to wear
uniforms, girls had to wear short hair and skirts and tight shoes. The eating
style also was different there. There were bells before eating. There was a prayer
Q2.How was Zitkala Sa different from the other native American students?
was a native American girl. She had great love for her tradition and culture.
She was proud of her beliefs. She held closer to her heart these beliefs and felt
hurt when the rest of the girls followed the foreign culture without any hesitation.
Q3. What does Zitkala Sa mean by, 'this eating by formula?
Sa was admitted in the Carlisle Indian School, she
faced a number of rules the students had to follow. One of them was the manner
of eating. There were three bells to be tapped before the students were allowed
to start eating. Being a natural being, Zitkala Sa could not digest the meaning of these polished manners which
were alien to her culture.
Q4.What was that the school authorities had failed to
recognize in Zitkala Sa?
Ans.The British authorities of the Carlisle
Indian School were colonists and therefore could not understand the feelings of
the people they ruled over. They believed that it was their duty to impart
their civilization to the uncivilized native Americans
but failed to understand their attachment to their own culture and traditions.
Q5.Why was Sa against the
idea of cutting her long hair?
mother had taught her that shingled hair was worn by mourners, cowards, and
unskilled warriors caught in war. She had a great deal of love for her traditions
and her hair. For her the hair meant much closer to her culture. To save her
identity, to uphold her civilization and pride Sa
fought against the attempts of the authorities to cut her hair.
Q6. How was Bama's innocent
childhood ruffled up by the sight of an elderly man handing the parcel to the
landlord at the threshing-field?
Ans.Bama was an innocent girl. She lived
in a discriminated society with landlords above them and her community running
errands for them. The first instance of class discrimination Bama experienced in her life was the incident of an elderly
man of her caste carrying food for the landlord. The man had to carry the
packet in the most shameful manner, holding the hand away from his body as a
mark of untouchability.
Q7.What made Bama laugh at
the sight of the elderly man handing the parcel to the landlord at the
Ans.Bama saw an elderly man of her
society carrying a very small and light parcel to the landlord. The way the man
held the parcel with its strings, the special respect the man showed towards
the parcel and the way he offered it to the landlord without supporting it from
the bottom made Bama laugh.
Q8.What did Bama feel when
her annan explained to her why the village elder had
to carry the parcel in a funny manner?
Ans. When Bama saw the elderly man from her
society carrying a small parcel of eatable to the landlord, she laughed a lot
but when her Annan told it was a scene of caste discrimination,
she could not laugh any more. She grew angry with this social evil and wanted
to touch the eatable herself and make it dirty. She felt helpless about her
being untouchable and angry with the rich people who considered her so.
Q9.“Because they had scraped
four coins together…” What did Bama mean?
Ans.According to Bama
the cause of the rich people’s superior attitude and behavior
is the possession of money. Money makes a man feel superior over the poor and i
tmakes him blind. While the ordinary people have a
little wealth in their hands, the rich ones have a lot.
Q10.What was the point of the question raised by the
landlord’s man to Bama’s elder brother, “On which
street do you live?”
Ans. The people of Bama’s time believed in untouchability and social discrimination. Some people were
considered privileged while the majority of the others suffered from the shame
of being backward class. People gave respect or disrespect to each other on the
basis of caste, religion and being rich and poor. The landlord’s men wanted to
know if Bama’s brother was touchable or untouchable
and therefore he asked where he lived.
Q11.How did Bama fight
against discrimination in her life?
Ans.Bama lived in a discriminated society
with the evils of untouchability playing havoc. When
she was aware of it Bama determined to fight it in
her way. She was told by her Annan that education only could liberate her from
being looked down by the society. Bama studied in a frenzy and stood top in the class and fought the class discrimination.
Questions and Answers
Q1.Power leads to dominance and reaches oppression and
ends up in rebellion and failure. How is this statement true in the case of the
rebellion raised by Zitkala Sa
Ans.One of the most irrevocable human
tendencies is domination. Everyone wants to impose some sort of dominance over
the other and if one doesn’t do so it is because he is weaker than the others
or that he is educated. Both Zitkala Sa and Bama lived on two opposite
ends of the world yet they experienced this social evil in their early life.
The Red Indians were the true inhabitants of America. With the discovery of
this new continent the European world converted it into their mines for
resources. The European colonists considered educating the rest of the world to
be the white man’s burden. They established schools for the backward and taught
them their culture, their language, their whims, their fancies, their funs but
failed to respect the values of the people they oppressed and ruled. The Red
Indians too had their own sacred culture and practices. They considered cutting
of one’s hair equal to death but all the students were forced to get their hair
cut. The British cut short the decency of dressing and curbed personal freedom
by imposing uniform system. They brought in rules for eating.
The same was the
case with the privileged landlords of India. Because they were richer than the
peasants, the landlords restricted their freedom. The poor peasants had to
accept their state of being untouchables in the public. The mortification that this
status brought to them was beyond sheer shame. The blindness that extreme possession
of power brings makes anyone do the worst activities including suppressing the
weak ones. But this power is always temporary. One day the weaker ones will
gather power of resistance and fight back the oppressors.