Sample English Essay Paper on Revolution of Ideology

            In the story ‘The school Days of an Indian girl,’ Zitkala-Sa creates an impelling perception of how people advance from naivety and ignorance to self-awareness and effectiveness in individualism. The story exemplifies the typical life of many people who move from ignorance based decision-making to more informed and critically thought decision making processes. The narrator speaks about her early school days. In particular, she creates a vivid description of her progress from expectations as she leaves her home in Dakota to the apprehension as she settles in her new country and finally to acceptance of fate. This is a quintessential type of life among many children during development, especially when they have to be detached from their parents and taken to far off places.

While it may seem that the story is focused on entertaining the reader, it clearly creates the foundation for analyzing decision making in childhood and from the same process in adulthood. For instance, in the story, the young girl is seen to practice rebellion during childhood such as due to personal beliefs and misinformation. In spite of her friend’s efforts to persuade her to accept fate earlier on, the narrator adamantly refuses her friend’s argument based on the fact that she has been made to believe that only cowards and defeated warriors have their hair cut or shingled. On the other hand, the rebellious actions during maturity are characterized by awareness and an inwardly rebellious nature which is not triggered by any past beliefs. For instance, when requested to mash turnips, the narrator does so rebelliously without any underlying beliefs. This helps to create the perception that while children may make wrong decisions due to ignorance, mature individuals may sometimes make wrong decisions intentionally. This is also evidenced in the story of the devil.

Progress from childhood naivety to maturity is also depicted through the descriptions of the dreams and/ or visions that the narrator has. It is during childhood that the narrator manages to link the appearances in his dreams with what he reads or he sees in the pictures at school. The decision to tear off the page with the devil’s picture is based on the activity of a child’s mind. An adult would have sought alternative ways to dealing with what she perceives to be the truth. Moreover, an adult is also well placed to distinguish between a dream and the truth. An adult would know that cutting off the page of a book would not save them from a devil in case there was any.

Through her story, the author also manages to bring out the perception that actions done against children tend to affect them throughout their lives. While children may not be mature of age and in decision-making, they tend to keep in their minds and their hearts the ills committed against them. A perfect example of this is seen in the story of the ill Indian children being forced to stay in class, sticking to an iron routine. The narrator lucidly describes events as they occurred and concludes by mentioning how such acts stuck to her mind and subsequently clouded her latter days. While this story may not exactly show progress from ignorance to maturity, it functions to direct actions of other readers who may be in a position of power relative to the children they are in charge of.

Work Cited

Zitkala- Sa. “The School Days of an Indian Girl.” American Indian Stories. Washington: Hayworth Publishing House, 1921, pp. 47- 80.