Thomas King's 'Borders': Summary Essay

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Over the past decade, the rights of Indigenous people have improved. Unfortunately, some rights and freedoms have not yet seen any improvement at all, and some have even worsened. Thomas King's 'Borders' is a short story demonstrating self-identity and the national pride of Indigenous people. Throughout the story, readers realize the theme is set to showcase the self-identity of the Mother and her difficulties in portraying herself as a 'Blackfoot.' However, pride plays a vital role in Aboriginal nationality, provoking conflicts of identity, and the many privileges that were, unfortunately, lost.

To begin, the author uses a storytelling method to demonstrate how Aboriginals inherit cultural information from one generation to another, and this information is a source of immense pride. Furthermore, this brings readers to the role of pride. Pride plays an essential role in BORDERS; the main character Mother, always insists on her cultural heritage despite the possibility to lie. For example, 'Blackfoot, Blackfoot,' my Mother repeated. 'Canadian?' 'Blackfoot' (King 133). Indeed, Mother is a very stubborn character; she symbolizes love and is a caring figure to her children; she is loyal to her aboriginal inheritance and faithful to her reserves. Nowadays, Aboriginals have lost their symbols of being First Nations; the world has shown a high amount of discrimination towards First Nation people. Throughout the story, even when everyone was against her, she stood her ground; she was proud of her nationality. This indicates the importance of respecting the founders of our land; hence the world grew up forgetting the roots of our tree.

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Secondly, Border demonstrates an actual example of the difficulties most Aboriginals go through; in fact, many go through a transformation in their identity. This difficulty is shown within the protagonist's Mother and her beliefs. As a Blackfoot, she could easily refer to herself as a Canadian, but she knows her true identity and will not let go of it. She said, 'The side of the Blackfoot' (King 82); she decides to respect her cultural heritage, and this shows the trouble Aboriginal people must go through. Apparently, the cultural identity transformation was shown by Laetitia exhibits through her lack of awareness. (Quote from the book) Leaving the cultural reserve and refusing to speak 'Blackfoot' by doing this she is disclaiming her origins and her true identity. Consequently, society forces mixed races to pick a side in order to survive. 'This begs the question, what is considered a mainstream culture? However, what if you do not want to pick sides, like your mother? Furthermore, caught in the no-man 's-land between two countries, which is an analogy for the entrapment of mothers' feelings and cultural status which are silenced, due to it being brutally unaccepted' (Canadien Short Story 362). Mother's journey of crossing the borders has a starting point and an ending point, which involves experiences and returns. For example, every Border crossed returns a valuable lesson in identifying her new self, hence establishing the difficulties Aboriginals have in understanding and respecting their identity.

Lastly, Unfortunately, many privileges and rights were lost, and this was very apparent throughout the short story. The indigenous people have, for the last century, been represented in Canada as 'the Indian problem' (The Inconvenient Indian 215). The core of the Indian, Aboriginal Problem is that they reject what white people value and in these countries such as Canada and the US, rejecting their values has a considerable cost to pay. Those are the problem that is mostly shown in Border (Happy Ever After 249). Unfair policies, unequal health care, and education colonial exploitation (Canadien Short Story 363).

To conclude, this short story by Thomas King explicitly demonstrated the real struggles of indigenous people and what kind of discrimination they are going through in this day and age. This statement was seen through the position of the protagonist, where she provides a claim on her Blackfoot citizenship. It is fundamental to understand the historical memories and quotidian reality of the First Nations, their conflict, loss of privileges, and pride. King views a world of cultures coexisting where all identities feel embodied.

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Thomas King’s ‘Borders’: Summary Essay. (2023, August 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 20, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/thomas-kings-borders-summary-essay/
“Thomas King’s ‘Borders’: Summary Essay.” Edubirdie, 29 Aug. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/thomas-kings-borders-summary-essay/
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Thomas King’s ‘Borders’: Summary Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Aug 29 [cited 2024 Jun 20]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/thomas-kings-borders-summary-essay/
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