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In the 1800s, many Native Americans, including the doctor/writer Ohiyesa, or Charles Eastman, chose to live their lives according to white customs rather than their traditional values for a variety of reasons, including ease of living, and social and cultural acceptance. Naturally, the cultural duality that Eastman experienced on a daily basis led to some startling contradictions, in his own behavior as well as that of the people around him, both white and native. As a doctor, rather than attempting to integrate his two warring identities, Eastman chose to suppress his Native culture in favor of whole-heartedly adopting the customs of the white men. Yet, as a writer attempting to reconcile his two selves in “The Ghost Dance War,” Eastman reveals the disturbing inconsistencies in thought and behavior patterns that he experienced and observed. This study analyzes Eastman's autobiography as an expression of his dual identity and the challenges it presented.


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  • Subject
    • English

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • LTC 382

  • Event date
    • 30 March 2015

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Tanya Bennett