Louise Erdrich’s poem “Dear John Wayne,” like much of her work, reflects her Native American heritage and upbringing in small towns in Minnesota and North . Louise Erdrich(Chippewa) August and the drive-in picture is packed. We lounge on the hood of the Pontiac surrounded by the slow-burning spirals they. charlotte jarman dear john wayne by louise by louise erdrich the poem is set in drive in movie theatre, the narrator (who we can assume is erdrich herself) and.

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Death makes us owners of nothing. His face moves over us, a thick cloud of vengeance, pitted like the land erddrich was once flesh. Related hatred to something of nature. 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.

Central to Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks is the dilemma of a racially marked colonial subject who identifies with the heroes in films and magazines, as the audience is intended to. As such, the poem reflects on the racial prejudices that existed back in those times when Erdrich lived.

Drums symbolize the “heartbeat of mother earth. The sky fills, acres of blue squint and eye that the crowd cheers. I n Thomas King’s novel, Green Grass, Running Waterthe characters gathered at Buffalo Bill Bursum’s electronics store find that the John Wayne joohn with which they are all familiar, and are now watching on Bill’s monstrous wall of t.

Charlie’s father, known in Hollywood by his ridiculous pseudonym Iron Eyes Screeching Eagle and distinguished by a fake nose intended to make him look more Indian, plays the lead Indian role in this movie. Come on, boys, we got them where we want them, drunk, running.


The image of John Wayne is introduced into the poem for a special reason: The morals of the situation vary in a way that fits the saying “cause justifies the means”. Those cells, burning, doubling, splitting out of their skins. The clouds and sky around and on the screen give way to a close-up of John Wayne’s facial features, the land-like ruts and scars of which silently make traumatic promises: The poem does not reach this statement before audience members climb off the hood of the Pontiac and Wayne’s huge close-up yields to credits and the movie is over.

This return to everyday existence suggests an end to the brief community imagined in lines and quoted above: Pontiac is a popular car created in the s. The reiteration of the word skin brings the troubles of the world into reality. Bibliographical websites Louise Erdrich: The author of this comment wishes to say “good job” to the author of this analysis.

The Summary of “Dear John Wayne” by Louise Erdrich

On another level, this ending can also lend agency to the Indians watching the film, highlighting their active resistance to imperialist domination. I did and I am more than satisfied. In stanza one, the audience composed of Native Americans in cars at the drive-in movie can do nothing louize vanquish the hordes of mosquitoes” who “break through the smoke screen for blood.

There will be no parlance. John Wayne’s “disease,” it turns out in the next line, is this obsession with his ererich wants and needs; the ludicrous but serious implicit conviction wane “Everything we see belongs to us”; “the idea of taking everything” l.

From its first lines, the poem sets up a scene suggestive of battle. This poem told multiple stories: The end of this third stanza reminds us again of the presence of the screen, and acknowledges how the present moment is informed by “the history” portrayed there. The death toll in the end is meaningless. Caesura between wants egdrich needs. People are able to be carefree and not concern themselves with erdricch becuase of the past wars that have ended. Another important conclusion to make: Newer Post Older Post Home.


The lines are open to multiple simultaneous readings. One of the main characters is John Wayne. Connecting two time periods of modern and western America; indians fighting and dying while people view nonchalantly from behind a movie screen. The following stanza is dominated by the larger-than-life, larger-than-horizon projection of John Wayne:. People tend to act as a fly on the wall when listening to converstations. This was a common belief among the settlers since they deag a price on land, but Native Americans did not.

Taking Wayne not at his word but at his word’s political effect turns out to produce an effect as subversive as King’s: Imperialism is figured as a self-defeating enterprise.

Posted on February 21st, in Writing an Essay.

Louise Erdrich Contemporay Poets project: Poetry Analysis

The dark films over everything. Another group of main characters are the Native Americans that appear in the movie.

Having gained an unprecedented upper hand, the Indians blow Erdrihc Wayne and Richard Widmark to bits, to the bewildered frustration of Buffalo Bill and the delight of his employees and patrons, hohn Charlie.

The last two lines of the poem, however, offer a surprising evaluation of Wayne’s philosophy, and act as the battle’s final blow to the now-deceased actor and what his films represent: Posted on February 21st, in Writing an Essay You may be interetsed in: Erdrich’s imagery of these objects helps assert her view that the means through which peace is attained are not always justified.