Momaday, N Scott House Made of Dawn

4 April 2015
Critical review of story of young American -Indian’s suffering & hope in seeking identity in midst of two cultures.

N. Scott Momaday, in House Made of Dawn, tells the story of Abel, a young American-Indian who is trying to find his identity in the midst of two cultures, the Indian and American. In part, the story of Abel parallels the experiences of the author himself, who is a Kiowa Indian, has lived on several Southwest Indian reservations, and teaches in the English Department at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
The story of Abel is a compelling and troubling account, although it seems to end with hope. The book begins with Abel running, but there is a clear suggestion that he is unhappy and lost: Abel was running. Against the winter sky and the long, light landscape of the valley at dawn, he seemed almost to be standing still, very little and alone (2). This is a quick portrait of a young man who does not know his place in the world,
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