There There Symbols & Objects

Tommy Orange
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Indian Heads

Dismembered Indian heads appear throughout the Prologue as a symbol of the way stereotypical representation of Indians is another kind of violence perpetrated against them. The Prologue gives examples such as the Mel Gibson creation of heads rolling down temple steps, when no such event occurred in history. It also gives real historical examples, such as the severing of Metacomet’s head. Images and artistic depictions are just as evocative, including the Indian heads representing the oppressors’ sports teams or the crying Indian face from the environmentalist television commercial. All of these heads represent different stereotypes, all of them united under the heading of the Indian head television test pattern that opens the novel. This is the one head symbol that makes its way into the narrative portion of the text, appearing when Opal and Jacquie escape from Ronald’s house at night. Opal imagines...

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This section contains 1,302 words
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Buy the There There Study Guide
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