Comparing lives of Zitkala-Sa and Anzia Yezierska

Essay by KAZ418High School, 12th gradeA, June 2004

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The stories of Zitkala-Sa's The School Days of and Indian Girl and Anzia Yezierska's College, are both about girls who were minorities who are placed into an unfamiliar and unfriendly environment. They both lived in 19th century when the idea of segregation was still strong. They were discriminated and faced harsh realities of the white world. They both faced problems because of the differences in their customs from middle class American Society. There are many similarities between the lives of Zitkala-Sa and Anzia Yezierska; even though they had different heritage, color of skin, or place of origin, they both experienced oppression from mainstream white culture.

Zitkala-Sa was born in 1876 at a reservation in South Dakota from a Sioux Indian mother and white father. The Sioux Indian was being oppressed and they were forced to live on a reservation. Her father probably left her and didn't take care of his families.

Zitkala-Sa and her mother were now the one that are left behind. Zitkala-Sa and her friend, Judewin and Thowin, were pressured to go to Quaker Missionary School in Indiana by missionaries. Missionaries looked down at Native American's culture, tradition, and religious beliefs. So, they forced to adapt Sioux children to white society by letting them go to white school. On her way for heading to Missionary school in Indiana, she was faced with discrimination at train. While she was sitting on the seat, white boys around same age as Zitkala-Sa pointed to her moccasins. Maybe the boy never saw Indian girl in his whole life and he thought moccasin was funny to him. The boy's mothers should have scolded their own children and told them, "You know what? You've acted so rude to her. She is a human-being just like we are and we should respect...