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Communo-bio-oratory or Autobiography?

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2Mixed-blood Indian critic Hertha Wong has argued that precontact written texts--as well as the oral tradition--help explain one of the fundamental differences between American Indian and Western autobiographies. Wong argues that the pictographic writings of the Sioux and other Plains tribes tended, like the oral tradition, to tell stories about the self which might be more accurately described as "communo-bio-oratory"(community-life-speaking) rather than "auto-bio-graphical" (self-life-writing), since they were about the person's life in the context of their human, spiritual, and natural communities and the writings were intended to be part of an oral recitation, rather than to stand on their own. Based on her argument, how do you think Black Elk Speaks is a communobiooratory? How is it not a communobiooratory? Give two examples to support one's opinion.

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On one hand, Black Elk Speaks aligns with a "communo-bio-oratory"(community-life-speaking) rather than "auto-bio-graphical" (self-life-writing), since he recall experiences that were not only his own with marginalization and oppression but also his tribe's lived experiences as well as what other American Indians endured. Since his text encompasses spiritual and natural elements, akin to storytelling, as in ...

Solution Summary

Genre is justified on both sides of this debate within the text, Black Elk Speaks. 100 words are briefly embedded from a personal perspective.

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