Friday, December 4, 2009

"A Question of Blood." Ernest Haycox.

One-minute review: A man alone in the early years of the frontier needs a woman. And when there are no white women available, he takes an Indian. When white civilization catches up to him, racial prejudice makes him a man outside of his kind. Indian and white, their varied customs and habits war. She insists on walking behind him. He takes on tasks that she is used to performing like cutting the firewood. He eats at the table while she—and now her son—eats in the corner on a blanket. There is no victory in this war. Neither can change. And when he claims the growing boy as white by seating him at the table, he signals that he will raise him as a white and she cries, heart-broken. He has taken her son from her.

Comment: A powerful story about the power of culture to divide. RayS.

75 Short Masterpieces: Stories from the World’s Literature. Ed. Roger B. Goodman. New York: Bantam Books. 1961. These summaries do not do justice to the vividness of the stories. RayS.

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