The story “Borders” is a perfect example of the hardships that some immigrants experience when trying to cross boundaries. They are not recognized as citizens, even when they have legitimate reasons for entering a country.
The Blackfeet in this short story is an integral part of Canadian culture, yet their identity was ignored by border security which kept them from crossing into the United States. Immigration laws today still make it very difficult for people to cross boundaries without paperwork proving citizenship or residency status, even though there may be other valid issues at hand, such as family or economic circumstances.
The mom and son were overwhelmed with joy when they finally crossed the border and arrived in Salt Lake City. The experience of traveling the border multiple times was both stressful and enlightening for them. Even though it was tough, they realized that no matter your nationality, you still have rights as a person living in this world. It also made them realize how being aware of your own history can empower yourself and those around you. This newfound awareness has changed their lives forever.
King wanted to use his story as an allegory to illustrate the dilemma many Native Americans face when facing a system of discrimination in their society. He points out that while some people are comfortable with conforming and accepting the politics of oppression, others fight against those same systems yet ultimately fail.
King highlights how not only is this oppressive system damaging but also how it serves to reinforce stereotypes about Native American communities.
By presenting this story, he hoped readers would become more aware of systemic racism and oppression within societies today and strive for solutions that help foster equality amongst all cultures and backgrounds.
Through my analysis of the story, I found essential themes in “Borders,” which was regarding racism and identity. The main character Big John who is Indigenous struggles to make it through his world when he gets discriminated against because of his race, but he still has hope that things will get better for him. Hence, being able to break down the story using my interpretation helped me form a clear understanding of what King wanted readers to know from this short story.
The mother’s character is complex in a way, as she serves both the roles of being nurturing and strict. The son can sense her sadness throughout the story, especially in the airport when his mom starts crying without warning. We can infer from this that there lies some unresolved issue between them before they even arrive at the airport. This creates an exciting dynamic for readers who want to figure out why his mother was so sad and what caused it.
Mel’s role can be seen quite clearly right away since he was tasked with helping Laetitia obtain her passport after she lost it while they were shopping at duty-free stores. Mel believes in doing things by “the book,” meaning all rules must be followed meticulously or else it goes against protocol—so much that he throws a fit when people don’t follow them!
He lacks empathy towards any situation, which makes him difficult to deal with but necessary; however, hearing other characters’ perspectives on how he acts/justifies certain conditions help us understand him better as a person and what motivates him.
The story also had cultural elements such as the traditions and beliefs of Native American indigenous people. When discussing with Laetitia, the mom shared “how we explain things on your reserve” (Page 10).
From that statement, I understood that there were traditional teachings from native tribes and their elders, which are practices specific to those individuals or cultures. The mom also disclosed her views about land ownership on page 8 when she says, “We live out here because this is our land as much as it belongs to anyone else.” This quote gives insight into how potentially US government policies have impacted or shaped life for Indigenous communities.
All of these questions help me to understand better the text I am reading and deepen my analysis. As I think through these questions, I look for keywords commonly used throughout the text or pay attention to any symbolism within it. Doing this allows me to create a deeper understanding of what’s going on in the passage itself while also giving me greater insight into its purpose.
Furthermore, it allows me to reflect on my interpretations and thoughts about a particular piece of literature. By asking myself, “what?” I can further develop my analytical skills and gain valuable experience interpreting various texts, which will aid me in higher education and beyond.
In conclusion, Borders is a compelling story that is both timely and timeless in its themes. Through the use of satire and other literary techniques, Thomas King was able to effectively communicate his message about Indigenous peoples’ right to self-identify without interference from outside forces. His message should be taken to heart and shared with others as a reminder that we all must respect each other’s choices when it comes to identity matters. In today’s world, it seems more important than ever before that we honor this right if we are going to move forward together in peace.
This is a sample paper that is available to one and all. If you want a unique paper, send us an order and get it written by our professional writers.
Free Revision & Money Back Guarantee
Enter your email, and we shall get back to you in an hour.