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Quotes

Quote #4

She used to tell me about the Black Hills which were sacred to the Sioux Indians. It was their Holy Land, but white settlers took it as their own. The Sioux are still fighting for their land. I half expected a Sioux to stop our car from entering, and the thing is, I would have been on his side. I would have said, "Take it. It's yours." (28.11)

Sal suggests that the painful history of white settlers stealing from the Sioux is still very fresh and alive. She can feel this history all around her. She can feel the past. She feels the injustice of what has happened to the Sioux and how they have been treated, and she's totally on their side.

Quote #5

We drove through the Black Hills to Mt. Rushmore. At first we didn't think we were in the right place, but then, jing-bang, it was right before us. There, high up on a cliff face, were the sixty-foot tall faces of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt, carved right into the rock, staring somberly down on us. (28.12)

Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt don't seem to be having such a good time up there in the mountain if they are "staring somberly down." Mount Rushmore is a huge American landmark, but Sal doesn't seem impressed with what she sees. Why not?

Quote #6

It was fine seeing the presidents, I've got nothing against the presidents, but you'd think the Sioux would be mighty sad to have those white faces carved into their sacred hill. I bet my mother was upset. I wondered why whoever carved them couldn't have put a couple Indians up there too. (28.13)

Once again, Sal considers the history that surrounds her, that is alive in the Black Hills. She puts herself in the shoes of the Sioux people and imagines how devastated they must feel to see their sacred hills carved away. Her unique ability to step into someone else's moccasins also makes her very good at questioning history.

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