• American Indian stories: a guide to the development of Zitkala-S̆a's Sioux identity

      Brown, Robert Alan (2010-05)
      "This thesis is a work of literary criticism, specifically psychological criticism, of American Indian Stories (1921), a collection of autobiographical and fictional short stories previously written and published by writer Zitkala-S̆a during the early 1900s. The purpose of this thesis is to solve one of the most debated aspects of the work--the identity of Zitkala-S̆a--and to show how identifying Zitkala-S̆a as a Sioux Indian offers a different perspective on American Indian Stories. The collection of Stories provides key evidence that provides insight into the healthy development of Zitkala-S̆a's personality as she progresses through Erik Erikson's 'Eight Stages of Man, ' one of the most well-known theories of human psychosocial development. It is argued that American Indian Stories can be used as a map to illustrate that Zitkala-S̆a develops her sense of Sioux identity during her early childhood years, clearly defines herself as Sioux during her adolescent years, and reinforces her Sioux identity during her adulthood years. Proving Zitkala-S̆a's identity is significant to advancing the critical debate surrounding American Indian Stories, because assigning Zitkala-S̆a a Sioux identity allows her and her work to be seen as an articulate part that stands for and fights for the Native American whole"--Leaf iii