Cultural assimilation is the incorporation of a minority group by a majority group, resulting in a merged single identity rather than the culturally diverse group. Authors of literature have attempted to sensitize readers and humanity to the importance of the subject by including it in their works. Leslie Marmon Silko’s job Lullaby, Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine, and Alexie’s My Father Always Said He Was the Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play are three examples. It is common that the trend of the loss of minority group due to the absorption effect is manifested in the works of literature and can thus be used to inform readers of the relevance of the subject through the coverage of the these in their works. Three such authors are Leslie Marmon Silko the work Lullaby, Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine and in Alexie’s My Father Always Said He Was the Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play. It is common that the trend of the loss of minority group due to the absorption effect is manifested in the works of literature and can thus be used to inform readers of the relevance of the subject.
The short story Lullaby by Silko covers the subject of a native American woman who was concerned that her ethnic group was reducing. When her son dies, white doctors take away her other two children and are transformed in the process. With time, they forgot their native culture and were changing gradually, an outcome that gets the woman concerned, but she cannot change it. In fact, it is apparent that Chato, her husband is also affected when a white rancher employs him. After some time, Chato changes completely and begin drinking. One day after a heavy drinking spree, the man dies and his wife sings him a song she was taught by her grandmother.
An alternative approach to examining the theme is in consideration of the author Erdrich’s work Love Medicine. The lady June Kashpaw is the central focus of the novel, where the writer of the book describes the incidences that led to her death. June is described as a girl who had set out on a journey that ended in her fate. On her way to the bus station, she meets Andy who seduces her. Andy is described as a mud engineer and after they drink and merry, they later have intercourse in his truck. When he passes out, she decides to walk home wearing light clothes that would be odd considering the journey she had set out. She later dies, and it is at this point that the relevance of the story manifests because June’s culture had died when she and sex with a stranger.
The last relevant way of covering the subject of cultural assimilation is when factoring the story titled, “My Father Always Said He Was the Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play” by Alexie. In the narration, it is clear that the author’s central emphasis is on the fact that Victor’s family is one the verge of undergoing assimilation following the turmoil that they go through. His father is sent to prison after aa video showed him killing a guard despite the fact that he was Native American. At the prison, his father risks death but manages to overcome all odds. When he returns, he continues fighting with their mother and Victor realizes that this is the manner in which many Native American marriages end up being destroyed. It thus poses a risk to their progression as they risk assimilation once the family is destroyed.
In summary, it is apparent that from the three works, cultural assimilation takes different forms and can affect anyone. Thus, the works by Silko, Erdrich, and Alexie are relevant in the understanding of the trends behind the cultural assimilation that presents a huge subject in the Unites States.
Alexie. “My Father Always Said He Was the Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play.” The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. (1993): n. pag. Print.
Erdrich, Louise. Love Medicine. N.p., 1984. Print.
Silko, Leslie Marmon. “Lullaby.” n. pag. Web.