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Treatment of Native American Soldiers Before and After the Second World War (Essay Sample)


How Native American Soldiers were Treated Before and After the War. What Were the Cause and Effects

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Treatment of Native American Soldiers Before and After the Second World War
During the Second World War, over 40,000 Native Americans were part of the United States military. Before the beginning of the war, a very large population of American Indians had been settled in reservations. The war had enormous impacts on the Indians in the western reservations. By the end of the war, the Native Americans had become recognized members of the society and were in a position of getting better jobs and opportunities to make their lives better. Most of these changes resulted in new abilities thereby redefining the potentials of the Native Americans in the country. The book Ceremony by Leslie Marmon’s Silko is widely studied by scholars and historians in order to acquire more understanding and knowledge of American soldiers survived in the country before, during, and later after the Second World War. This paper will therefore establish how the Native American soldiers were treated before the world war, during and later afterwards as explained in the book by Leslie Silko.
How Native American Soldiers Were Treated Before and After the War: Causes and Effects
Before the beginning of the war, most of the Native Americans never found positions in the American military industry. Silko’s book Ceremony is a story narrating the life of Tayo who is a traumatized war veteran. This is mainly due to the experiences he faced as a Japanese prisoner during the Second World War. Most of the details represented in the book are intended to explain to the reader about the facts of the war and how it brought a new change in the history of the Native Americans. Before the war, the Native American Indians were inferior individuals in the racial American society (Silko 52). Majority of the Native American soldiers lived in extreme poverty in reservations and had strong feeling of rejection, injustice and inferiority. Before the beginning of the war, the whites treated the Indian natives with prejudice and did not even bother about their welfare or living conditions. Because of this, it was very hard to get a good job like in the military.
The beginning of war meant a lot to the young men in this population. It was an opportunity for them to get high paying jobs in far-away societies. With this idea in mind, many people were willing to join the United States military and make their lives much better (Silko 15). This has been explained through the lives of Emo, Rocky, and Tayo. These characters were strongly convinced that they would eventually have full access to the white-dominated world and live a better life after the war. According to the author, the newly recruited soldiers wanted to join the military in order to do away with poverty and have access to what was enjoyed and owned by the whites only. Having been living in reservations where life was full of disappointments, to them the war appeared as an opportune moment to bring a new change in their lives and have access to the ‘outside’ world (Silko 43).
After joining the army, the Native Americans soldiers served in different integrated units. This presented a new chance for them to learn much about the whites from different backgrounds. As well, these natives were offered technical training in most the mandatory skills required in the military. It is observed that most of the whites began to respect the Native American soldiers and also held them in the highest esteem. The reason why this happened was because the Indian soldier had become a tough warrior and thereby becoming an elemental part of the American military. The period of the war contributed to new changes whereby the whites began to view the natives differently. Although Silko’s book explains how the war led to different changes in the country, it is notable that some individuals were affected negatively by the war due to death of their beloved friends and trauma from the fighting experience (Silko 157).
During the time of the Second World War, the Native Americans went overseas while most of the women stayed in their country. Due to this shift, majority of these women were able to get employment in the defense industries therefore uplifting their living standards. This development played a huge role in taking the Native Americans off the reservation. Although many of them returned, a good number of these individuals found better lives in the cities away from their home communities (Silko 198). This new development therefore made a big role in bringing a whole new change in the people’s lifestyles.
The end of the war saw the Native Americans aware of the situation facing them. They strongly believed that it was the right time to have the issues affecting them being addressed by the government. After coming back to the country following the end of the war, the American Indians demanded that the president should end the existing discrimination especially in the defense industries. This explains that, before the beginning of the war, the American Indians had not been offered chances in the military due to the existing discrimination (Silko 136). The end of the war played a huge role towards bringing an end to this social inequality.
Later, it was observed that the veterans and their families were able to get new jobs in different industries. They also moved off reservations in very large quantities thereby being in a position of living better lives. As well, the individuals were very keen to make sure the tribal languages and cultures were promoted rather than discouraging them (Silko 153). The war therefore played a very huge role in bringing a new change in the habits, lifestyles, economic wellbeing, and capability of the Native Americans soldiers. Although Silko’s book explains how the life of Tayo changed following the end of the war, it is notable that majority of the Native Americans were able to live a better life while at the same time being in a position of maintaining their native language and cultural practices.
Generally, this book has explained a lot of the life of the Native American Indians before and after the war. The reader understands c...
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