Is The Indian Camp: A Subtext Of Misogyny And Racism?

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“Indian Camp”: A Subtext of Misogyny and Racism The plight of the american indian, as well as the supposed inferiority and degradation of woman during the early 20th century was seen firsthand by modernist writer Ernest Hemingway. His own experiences as a child, spending his adolescent summers in the wilderness of northern Michigan, provided the basis for his short story Indian Camp which focuses on a Native American birth in the early 1900’s. The story centers primarily around the birth of an indian child and the disregard for it’s mother's own well being throughout the childbirth process. Although we often associate childbirth with feelings of joy and liveliness, this story carries heavy undertones of Sexisim and Racism through the verbal abuses of Uncle George, as well as the doctors oblivity to the obvious pain and suffering of the mother during an excruciatingly long breached labor.…show more content…
Uncle George immediately responds by spouting a demeaning racial slur that represents a three pronged attack on her very identity. He calls her a “Damn Squaw Bitch”. This insult attacks her supposed religion as American Indians generally believed in Pagan type religions, leading to the anglo saxon assumption that they would be eternally damned upon death. This insult also uses a racial slur common to the time period. “Squaw” was a term demeaning to both women, as well as the American Indian race. And the final third of this insult “bitch” represents an attack on her gender. Because she is a woman, she is viewed not as a human being with full fledged rights, but as a lesser object, inferior to men. This single, concise insult attacks every facet of her

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