They break through the smoke screen for blood. Thus, everything is chaotic. This is used to express how warfare makes no sense. The fact that the voice is "still playing" indicates that it is still an ongoing issue. It also symbolizes the transition from life to moments before death as fall, the season after summer, is a road to winter, in this case symbolizing death. As she watches the movie featuring Native Americans, she realizes just how suppressed Native Americans really are.

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It also might have to do with the fact that he was in western movies, and in western movies there are usually Indians.

One of the main characters is John Wayne. Another group of main characters are the Native Americans that appear in the movie. They still can be considered main characters even though they are not directly mentioned, they are implied.

The author of this poetry analysis thinks that the speaker s in this poem are the Native Americans that are in the movie. In the first stanza lines one through five , it takes place at a drive-in movie theater.

The time period might be around s. The second stanza lines six through ten appears to be a scene of a person on the lookout for any signs of Native Americans, this person could be John Wayne, but the author of this poetry analysis thinks that he would have taken a more important role in the movie. Why would there be mention of these missiles?

In the third stanza lines eleven through sixteen , a battle is taking place. From the way it is written, it appears that not only could it be a scene in the movie, but also a scene in a real battle.

The bear is a Native American symbol that is often used. In the fourth stanza lines seventeen through twenty-three it appears to be back in the present. This was a common belief among the settlers since they put a price on land, but Native Americans did not. The last part of the quote is very important because back in the time of the settlers, they thought that if they killed a Native American that they then owned the land.

This is not so because the land does not belong to just one person, it belongs to everybody. In the sixth stanza lines thirty through thirty-five , the movie has ended. This could mean that the movie goers figuratively were out of their bodies during the movie.

This is the description of what John Wayne died from, cancer. This poem told multiple stories: a story of a night at a drive in movie theater in which a John Wayne movie was playing, and a story about the battles that happened over the land that the Native Americans lived on. The reader s of this poem can take away from the text is the fact that the land does not belong to anybody. Also that when you take away something from somebody, then somebody will take something from you. Posted by.



This poem tells the story of Native Americans viewing a western movie at a drive-in. Native Americans in the movie portrayed as the antagonist due to their motive to attack first shows the stereotypes rampant among popular culture. The narrator views the constant clichs prevalent throughout the movie as enormously humorous. The poem serves to emphasize the vast array of Native American stereotypes that have befallen society, becoming common ideology, due to Hollywood romanticizing the expansion of our country to the west coast. Indian is a common term used in conversation when discussing Native American culture.


Dear John Wayne: Louise Erdrich

August and the drive-in picture is packed. We lounge on the hood of the Pontiac surrounded by the slow-burning spirals they sell at the window, to vanquish the hordes of mosquitoes. They break through the smoke screen for blood. Always the lookout spots the Indian first, spread north to south, barring progress. The Sioux or some other Plains bunch in spectacular columns, ICBM missiles, 10 feathers bristling in the meaningful sunset. The drum breaks. There will be no parlance.

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