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A Century of Dishonor - Wikipedia
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A Century of Dishonor
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Stevenson, R. The collection is organized chronologically — , which allows the reader to see Jackson's wide-ranging, varied interests.
Helen Hunt Jackson
The volume is "characterized throughout by a remarkably complicated cultural politics," writes Burnham xi. And what a productive understatement that is.
The nation as family emerges as a significant trope, from her early advice on parenting and corporal punishment to her columns on the United States as a needed parental figure for Native Americans. But several entries also capture the lives of Anglo-American women, on the East Coast and western frontier, as reservation teachers, mothers, and frustrated wives.
As the volume progresses, the reader moves across the United States and lands upon California with its quaint Spanish missions and suffering Indians.
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Scholars have peeled away the rhetorical devices in Jackson's writings on Native Americans, but no one has yet unraveled the aesthetic and political threads that depict the demise of a Spanish American empire that fell before it ever flourished and the meteoric rise of an American [End Page ] empire. If missions had sought to interpellate Native Americans in order to incorporate them into the social world, the dominant Anglo world had no material or discursive place for them: they would be exterminated, hunted down like animals Burnham unfortunately completely understates this.
Indeed, as much as Jackson wanted the United States government to accept its parental role in helping Native Americans acculturate, her novel Ramona frustratingly closes with an implicit capitulation to this new world order.
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The novel offers no material or discursive space for Native Americans or Mexicans. They would have to abandon the missions, the ranchos, survive in the wilderness, and, if possible, escape to another social world that offered some kind of discursive space for their existence.
Jackson, and the couple settled in Colorado, making occasional trips back to New England. Jackson was re-introduced to Emily Dickinson through editor Thomas Wentworth Higginson, who acted as a mentor to both women. Jackson visited the poet on two occasions, first in and two years later in Toward the end of her career, Helen Hunt Jackson became a passionate advocate for the rights of Native American people.
Her political commitment inspired a critique of U.