Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 18 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Code Talker.
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Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two Summary & Study Guide Description

Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac.

Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two is a novel by Joseph Bruchac. In this novel, a man is telling his grandchildren how he came to receive several medals for his service in World War II. The grandfather, Ned Begay, was born on Navajo land, but attended a boarding school in order to learn English. Throughout his childhood Ned was told by the white man that using his sacred language was wrong. However, when World War II broke out, Ned learned that the government was recruiting Navajo men to use their language as a code the enemy could not decipher. Ned quickly chose to join up and play his part. Code Talker is a novel that is based in true history about American heroes who are all too often overlooked.

Ned Begay has gathered his grandchildren around and begins to tell them the story of how he earned a number of medals during World War II. Ned begins his story with the day his uncle took him to a white man's boarding school where he was to learn English. Ned's uncle fought for Ned to go to this school because he believed it was important for Navajo to know English in order to avoid conflict based on miscommunication with the white man. At the school, however, Ned was treated poorly by white people who misunderstood the importance of the Navajo language and culture to these children and tried to convince them that everything they had ever known was wrong.

Ned survived boarding school and chose to go on to high school. While in high school, Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese and Ned heard that the government was looking for willing men to serve in the military. However, when a group of Navajos went to join the military, they were sent home because they were seen as unfit for service. A short time later, Ned learned that the government had changed their minds and were looking for Navajo men who could both speak Navajo and English fluently to join the military. Ned became excited at the idea of serving his country and asked his parents to lie about his age. Ned's parents told him they would prefer if he waited until he was sixteen to enlist. A year later, Ned joined the Marines.

After boot camp, Ned and his fellow Navajo soldier were immediately placed into training to become Code Talkers. The code was new and constantly changing. Ned and the others had to learn the code quickly and proficiently as they were not allowed to keep anything on which the code was written. After training, Ned and his fellow Code Talkers were sent to Pearl Harbor where they met with other Navajos to share changes to the code.

After training, Ned was sent to the Pacific. Ned was assigned to a group of Marines and was among those who invaded Bougainville. Soon afterwards, Ned and his fellow Marines moved on to Guam. Eventually, Ned found himself a part of the invasion on Iwo Jima and followed the Marines onto Okinawa. When the war finally ended, Ned was among one of the first to know because he was a Code Talker.

After the war, Ned and his fellow Code Talkers were forbidden from sharing what they had done during the war. It was not until 1969 that the Code Talkers were allowed to share the truth about what they had done during the war. Now Ned shares it with his grandchildren to show them that it is okay for them to be proud of their sacred language and their culture.

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This section contains 609 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two Study Guide
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