Эссе: Albert Hensley's Two Autobiographies

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...  She never have any schooling, because her parents were oppose of schooling. There were five girls and two boys that they never went to a day to school, but she was a good worker. And then we move on farm of one hundred and Sixty acres, near Thurston, Nebr. We now got five healthy children and we are always happy and made good living on farm and independent. I will now conclude with best wishes to your future welfare. I am your friend, Albert Hensley The first thing to notice about these narratives is that they do not simply string together episodes; each is connected, unified by a single idea of the self. This sharply distinguishes Hensley's little autobiographies from many other early Indian autobiographical narratives. Nonliterate Indians were quite capable of telling stories about their deeds without learning anything about "autobiography" from Anglos-and many such stories have been published. Fine Day (Cree, born circa 1853), for example, has some splendid stories to tell about his battles and his curings.12 Gregorio (Navajo, born circa 1902) tells about his work as a hand trembler, and about his marriage and his sheepherding.13 Wolf Chief (Hidatsa, born 1849) tells about his battles with the Crows and about his Sun Dances, and he narrates a blood-curdling story about his eagle trapping.14 Maxidiwiac speaks movingly of her work as a farmer, of her relation to her work and her plants.15 But we do not find these Indians telling stories in such a way as to suggest exactly how they came to be just the men or women they were. These Indians tell of deeds done, of hardships endured, of marvels witnessed, of crops harvested, of buffalos killed, and of ceremonies accomplished. They do not relate their tales each to each; their tales are not designed to work together to convey a unified idea of the narrator as an individual, separate, distinct, and different from what he or she might have been. ...