Study Guide

The Ancient Child Social Concerns

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Momaday's novels explore issues of identity: the search for an identity between cultures, the reclamation of a lost identity in the face of disruption, or the creation of a new identity that incorporates cultures, heals the disruptions, and transverses the barriers to the spiritual and mythical. In House Made of Dawn (1966), the protagonist is a Native American who is estranged from his ethnic roots and not accepted in White society. He has survived the Korean War and struggles with horrific memories that leave him alienated and fragmented. The novel ends with a sense that his Native American roots will enable him to bridge the gaps in his self-esteem and cultural identity.

The Way to Rainy Mountain (1969) is a diverse text, incorporating autobiographical narrative, Kiowa myth and legends, and anthropological explication of the Kiowas' history. This narrative also offers a new Momaday, who bridges cultures and epistemologies in a...

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This section contains 560 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Ancient Child Study Guide
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