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ERIC Number: EJ835825
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0161-6463
Even the Snow Is White: Displacement and Literary Ecology in Diane Glancy's "Pushing the Bear"
Hada, Kenneth
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, v33 n1 p131-142 2009
Diane Glancy's historical fiction, "Pushing the Bear", reconstructs one episode in the Cherokee Trails of Tears (there were actually several relocations to the west, for the Cherokee and the other eastern tribes of the same period). The Removal of eastern peoples from their ancestral lands westward to eventual resettlement in Oklahoma is a complex, agonizing story. As Glancy's novel depicts, dislocation from places of origin has tremendous psychological and cultural consequences. Glancy's novel is valuable for several reasons. First, it keeps the memory of premodern Cherokee culture alive. Second, it vividly reminds readers of an undeniable ugly history in which many of their cultural forefathers (including some biological ancestors) participated, one of which an honest assessment is necessary to help move people beyond the limitations of racial and cultural bigotry. Third, "Pushing the Bear" ultimately celebrates the survival of an adaptive and dignified people. In addition to these prerequisite historical considerations, for literary ecologists, "Pushing the Bear" significantly offers a subsequent directive. The study of Native culture may function as an ironic mirror into which all members of modern society should look to avoid potentially self-destructive practices. Beyond the historical displacement of the Cherokee, expulsion from land functions in an archetypal manner, something to which readers of all cultures can relate--a fear that even modern landowners worry about. (Contains 17 notes.)
American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548. Tel: 310-825-7315; Fax: 310-206-7060; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oklahoma