A sense of citizenship should be felt by every particular individual in the country. However, discrimination of one group or race hinders the sense of belongingness and discourages people. Being a member of a particular group or society and one feels rejected or unaccepted is hurting. Racism, cultural assimilation, violence and lack of freedom are some of the forces that oppose the human continuity in the two stories Borders and Indian Camp. This paper will compare the thematic concerns of the two stories by focusing on the challenges highlighted above that hinder the human continuity. Historically, the minority groups have always faced discrimination and other social challenges in Europe as depicted in the two stories Borders and Indian Camp.
Characters in the two stories struggle for survival as they face various challenges and forces that oppose human continuity. Racism is one of the forces that have been highlighted and identified in the two stories. Racism is where one particular race of people is despised by another because they are social, economically and politically disadvantaged. As presented in the story Borders the native Indians have not given the same opportunity as others. Other people have places where they feel the sense of belonging, and they can answer whenever they are asked. However, the native Indians represented by the narrator who is a young boy and his mother do not have a place where they feel that they belong. When they took off to visit Laetitia in Salt Lake, they could not pass the border as they did not have a place where they came from. Although they came from the Canadian side, the narrators mother feels that she and her family are not citizens of Canada. Therefore, when she is asked her citizenship, she declines and keeps giving the same answer. Racism is the division where one identifies with one particular group. This division has been clearly depicted in the story Borders; the narrators mother is asked about her citizenship, and she keeps answering Blackfoot even after the guard gives her options, Canadian side or American side? (p. 136). The persistence of the narrators mother shows that there is a division between different races. Racism involves the restriction where one group is isolated and is not allowed to access services like the rest of the members of the society. The majority race dominates the minor group and controls them. The minority groups interaction with the rest of the races is limited. Likewise, in the story Indian Camp the whole story revolves around Indian race. The characters are all Indians; the doctor, young Nicks father is an Indian with his brother George. The story depicts the poor life conditions in the camp; the people lack proper healthcare facilities. The doctor has to travel along the way so as to reach the camp to see a patient. The survival in the camp is a struggle; the living conditions are poor. The situation is similar with the condition in the story Borders; both characters lack proper home or shelter. In the story Indian Camp the narrator explains that inside on a wooden bunk lay a young Indian woman (p. 1). In the story Borders the narrator and his mother spent the entire day wondering around the duty-free store, which wasnt very large after denied the chance to cross the border to Salt Lake (p. 141).
Living in an environment where one belongs to a minority racial group is not easy; the dominant racial group will always try to assimilate the minority group. This assimilation is mostly cultural; the minority group may get assimilated, and they start practicing what the major group is doing. This might be out of willingness or forcefully. Cultural assimilation is common in both stories. In the story Borders the narrators mother resists the assimilation by rejecting to accept either of the citizenship when she is asked by the guard at the border. She prefers to remain a citizen of Blackfoot than being branded either the American or Canadian citizenship. In the story Indian Camp the doctor took his son to the camp to know more about their culture. The doctor took the young Nick to the bush in the camp where the rest of the majority of native Indians lived to learn and acquire some skills. He says how to do you like being an interne? (p. 2). Therefore, cultural assimilation is making teaching someone who does not know much about a certain culture about the values, practices, and beliefs about that culture.
Emotional and psychological violence has been expressively depicted in both stories. Violence is where a character is involved in a conflict with oneself or another character. Violence can either be physical, psychological or emotional; however, in the two stories, the emotional and psychological violence have been widely explored and depicted. In the story Borders the narrators mother has constantly been presented in violence. The violence presented in this story is not physical but rather emotional. Narrators mother feels that she is hurt by the guards asking her the same question over and over again; she is detained with her son for hours instead of being turned back or let to cross over to the American side. On the other hand, in the story Indian Camp psychological violence has been depicted in some characters; for instance, the husband of the woman that the doctor helped to deliver commits suicide because of the reasons well known to him. The doctor says there the worst sufferers in these little affairs (p. 2). The husband might have been in a struggle with his internal forces that opposed his continuity; he might have been mentally disturbed. No one seems to understand why he committed suicide; even the doctor does not have anything to explain to his son when he asks about the death of the man.
Despite the similarities, the two stories have differences as well. Although characters from the two stories struggle for survival some of them are exposed to more challenges than the rest. In the story Indian Camp characters are exposed to more challenges than the characters in the story Borders. The characters in the story Indian Camp are isolated from the rest of civilization, and they live in the bushy areas where there is no access to social services. The situation in the story Borders is quite different as the narrator and his mother struggle to cross over to the other side of the border; however, they are quite exposed to civilization. Unlike the characters in Borders who at least can afford better services, characters in Indian Camp are exposed to extreme poverty.
In conclusion, the two stories that we have examined depicts the infringement of the human rights of the minority groups. The native Indians have always faced the challenge of being discriminated against by major racial groups in Europe; however, as the two stories present they struggle to live in that discriminative environment despite the challenges.
Hemingway, E. (2002). Indian camp. Medicine and Literature: The Doctor's Companion to the Classics, 1, 83. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/Hp/Documents/My%20Digital%20Editions/Indian%20Camp.pdf
King, T. (1992). Borders. World Literature Today, 66(2), 131-145. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/Hp/Documents/My%20Digital%20Editions/Borders.pdf
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