House Made of Dawn Essay

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In the following essay, Hirsch analyzes the characters of Martinez, Tosamaah, and Benally and their relationships with the protagonist, noting that for these characters Abel is a symbol of contempt and a reminder of their Native selves.

N. Scott Momaday, referring to his protagonist Abel, has said, "None but an Indian, I think, knows so much what it is like to have existence in two worlds and security in neither." True as this is of Abel in House Made of Dawn, it is truer still of Martinez, Tosamah, and Benally because they, unlike Abel, try earnestly to conform to Euro-American social values. Indeed, the strong responses Abel generates in each of these characters indicate their perception of something unyielding and incorruptible in him, something which throws into stark relief the humiliating spiritual compromises they have felt compelled to make In his suffering Abel is both a sorry example...

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This section contains 5,365 words
(approx. 14 pages at 400 words per page)
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