The Flight of Red Bird: The Life of Zitkala-Sa Short Essay - Answer Key

Doreen Rappaport
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Short Essay Questions Key

1. What is the premise of "The Flight of Red Bird: The Life of Zitkala-Sa"?

"The Flight of Red Bird: The Life of Zitkala-Sa" by Doreen Rappaport centers on Gertrude Bonnin, a half-Indian girl who lived on a reservation with her Indian mother. Gertrude attended white schools and college, thus causing her an identity crisis. Gertrude reinvented herself as Zitkala-Sa and lived in both the white and Indian worlds.

2. How did Gertrude Bonnin get her name, and what would she change it to later in her life?

In Woniya Kin Tinta Kin Piyawanikiye (The Breath That Brings Life to the Prairie), Tate Iyohiwin had a daughter on February 22, 1876. Tate's white husband gave the daughter the name Gertrude, but later in life, Gertrude would rename herself Zitkala-Sa, meaning Red Bird.

3. How many times was Tate married, and how many children did she have?

Gertrude was one of Tate's nine children from three marriages with white men. Only five of Tate's nine children survived. Three older sons from the first marriage were grown and lived nearby. David, 12, was from Tate's second marriage. Gertrude was from her third marriage. The U.S. government forced Tate to send David to boarding school. She signed the agreement, even though she didn't know how to read.

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