In “The Truth About Stories” by Thomas King, chapter III, Thomas King continues to critique historical and contemporary representations of the Indian, arguing that Indians have been typecast and stereotyped throughout history and into the present. King includes the story of Ishi, the “Wild Man of Oroville,” and reminds us of the Puritan views of Native Americans–they were described as “‘wonderous cruel,'” “‘strangely base and vile,'” and like beasts of prey (King 75).
He concludes that the role of the Indian in North American history is the role of the entertainer. The Indian is entertainment.
What does King mean by the statement that “somewhere along the way [Indians] ceased being people and somehow became performers in an Aboriginal minstrel show for White North America” (68). Do you see his point? Agree or disagree? Consider this idea of “entertainment” in the context of storytelling. Isn’t a story’s purpose to entertain? How is entertainment the “story of survival”? (89).
King, Thomas. The Truth About Stories : A Native Narrative. University of Minnesota Press, 2005.