Hair Imagery in “For All My Grandmothers”


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Essay #: 060646
Total text length is 7,566 characters (approximately 5.2 pages).

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The beginning:
Hair Imagery in “For All My Grandmothers”
In her poem “for all my Grandmothers,” Beth Brant frequently uses powerful images to illustrate and enhance her message as well as to connect the reader with her language. The poem is a stark illustration of what the effects of assimilation and near-genocide have been on American Indian culture and cultural identity. The images used by Brant are familiar to any reader, but when placed against the backdrop of the poem and its topic, become powerful conveyances for the poem’s message. When Brant refers to Grandmothers, she is speaking of all the American Indian women who pass on Indian cultural identity through oral tradition, and now, perhaps the contemporary American Indian women poets who work to...
The end:
....., and have a sense of endurance. Brant certainly epitomizes the latter. Even in what is perhaps one of the starkest representations of the effect of assimilation on American Indian culture presented in this course, Brant has managed to find strands of hope that she and other American Indians can cling to. But the poem is not a mere lament, with a hopeful ending; no, it is a call to action for other contemporary Indian authors, as well: Rescue the Grandmothers’ strands before the old webs are swept away forever.
Bruchac, J (ed.). (1983). Songs from this Earth on Turtle’s back. New York : The Greenfield Review Press.
Gunn Allen, P. (1992). The sacred hoop: recovering the feminine in American Indian traditions. Boston: Beacon Press.