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Cultural Education In Yellow Woman Book

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Yellow Woman

Introduction

In the essay, “Yellow Woman,” Marmon Silko writes about her early life living with her grandparents until she joined kindergarten. The essay highlights the culture of the Pueblo given that Silk comes from the community. The fact that the essay talks about the family relationships and perspectives that Silko developed about other students makes it a cultural text. Silko’s story can help the reader infer the differences between the Pueblo culture and the mainstream American culture. These contrasts are essential in enabling one understand the mainstream American culture and Pueblo culture. Thus, based on family relationships, racial perspectives, gender issues, and celebrations, Pueblo culture portrays explicit and implicit contrasts with the mainstream American culture as discussed below.

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Explicit Contrast

Pueblo culture, as seen in Silko’s story respected family relationships in that children could live with their grandparents and great-grandparents. Silko remembers how she lived with her grandmother and how she told her stories (Muller 312). The story suggests that Silko’s grandmother was living with them as a requirement of their culture. Silko’s story of family relationships shows a contrast between Pueblo culture and mainstream American culture in that the former entertains living together of members of the extended family while the latter does not encourage extended families to stay together. This contrast is explicit given that it can be observed that unlike in the Pueblo society, the American society does not have many extended families staying in one household.

Racial perspectives in the US society are common where people are judged based on their skin color. These perspectives have become part of the US culture in that people have accepted to view each other based on their races. On the other hand, Pueblo communities do not pay attention to the skin color of their members as Silko points out (Muller 314). Pueblos treat each other as human beings without paying attention to skin color and physical appearance.

Implicit Contrast

In American culture, gender issues are part of the cultural considerations, and as such, they affect social relations. These issues touch on gender roles where there are tasks assigned to women and others meant for men. Americans grow up knowing that the society does not give equal rights to men and women. The fact that this knowledge affects the way of life is proof that gender issues form part of the American culture. On the other hand, Pueblo society does not have gender issues. Silko indicates that in her culture, women are celebrated (Muller 315). The fact that gender issues differ across cultures make this contrast implicit in that it may not come out clearly in the two cultures.

Cultural events such as birthday celebrations show the contrast between mainstream American culture and Pueblo culture. Birthday celebrations are common in the US and have become part of the culture. However, in Pueblo culture, these celebrations are rare (Muller 316). The fact that celebrations may not say much about culture makes this contrast implicit in that it can only be suggested.

Conclusion

In conclusion, family relationships, racial perspectives, gender issues and celebrations show the explicit and implicit contrast between Pueblo culture and Anglo culture. One explicit contrast touches on family relationships where in Pueblo culture, society saw it appropriate for extended families to live in one household while in American culture, such considerations are not common. Also, gender issues and family festivities such as birthday celebrations are common in the mainstream US culture, unlike the Pueblo culture that does not witness such events and issues.

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