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Essay/Term paper: Juanita platero's "chee's daughter": character's environment reveals a great deal about personality

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Literary Essays

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Juanita Platero's "Chee's Daughter": Character's Environment Reveals A Great Deal
About Personality

A characters environment reveals a great deal about his personality. In
Chee's Daughter by Juanita Platero and Siyowin Miller this theory is displayed.
In this story a young Navajo Indian girl is taken from her home by her deceased
mother's parents. Two different environments which reflect values and
personalities are conflicting. A young traditional Navajo,Chee , and a non-
traditional Navajo businessman, Old Man Fat , fight over Chee's daughter,
Little One. The two distinctly different settings in this story reflect the
personalities of the protagonist,Chee , and the antagonist Old Man Fat.
Chee's setting reflects his caring nature. He shows this by caring for
the land he lives on like a father would do for his son. He shows that he cares
for the land by thinking that "if he sang the proper songs, if he cared for the
land faithfully, it would not forsake him now..."(82) Chee is trying to grow
food and he thinks that if he cares for the land and respects it that the earth
would in turn make the food grow well. Another way to show this is how Chee
thought that if he "Take care of the land and it will take care of you."(81)
Chee cared and respected the land and in turn the land gave him food for which
he would to barter back Little One from Old Man Fat. Chee treats the land as an
equal. "he felt so strongly that just now this was something between himself
and the land."(82) Chee treats the land as an equal, respects it and it
respects him by giving him the food he needs. Where he lives is pure and real,
like the earth.
The setting Old Man Fat chooses to live in reflects his personality and
values. Old Man Fat owns a small store one the side of the highway that
disregards some Navaho customs and beliefs. He does this by flaunting
"...pseudo-Navajo designs on the roof."(78) This is very disrespectful to his
tribe. He does not even try to find some real Navajo symbols with real meaning.
Another way Old Man Fat's values are portrayed in his setting is how he has a
"garish blue door which faced north to the highway."(78) Navajo Indians face
their hogans, homes, to the east so that they awake with the sun which
symbolizes a new beginning. Lastly Old Man Fat's setting reflects his
personality is when he has his grand-daughter, Little One, stand in a hogan so
that tourists could "see inside a real Navajo home 25 c." This depicts his
personality because it shows that he would rather make money than to have his
grand-daughter shown-off like an exhibit.
In the story two contrasting settings display opposite personalities.
Old Man Fat's disrespectful, greedy nature clashes with Chee's respectful and
unselfish ways. This world would be a whole lot better if it was filled with
more people like Chee instead of those profiteering gluttons like Old Man Fat.


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