Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Analysis of "I Will Fight No More Forever"

"I will Fight No More Forever" by Chief Joseph reflects Realism in many ways. For example, the first characteristic it displays is the fact that the speech by Joseph does not contain much figurative language(Joseph 553). This is a characteristic of Realism because during the times of realist writing, authors were focused mainly on trying to present what they had to say in a very clear, simple way(Quinn). The speech given by Joseph fits right into this category. Another characteristic of realism that this speech contains is the fact that the author of this speech, Joseph, is exhausted from the war that he has just gone through and he has grown extremely frustrated with the obstacles that he has tried to overcome(Quinn). For example, within the speech, he states, " Hear me, my chiefs. I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever(Joseph 553)." From this quote taken from his speech, it is easy to see that Joseph has grown extremely tired with the obstacle that he has tried to overcome, and he is now willing to give up because it has taken such a toll on him(Joseph). Another characteristic that is found within Chief Joseph's speech is human nature. For example, as stated in the speech, " It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death(Joseph 553)." From this quote, it is easy to see how nature comes into play when speaking about the subject of this speech. It is clear that the weather and the bitter cold has affected the Chief when making the decision to surrender from the war that he and his settlement is in (Joseph 553). It has affected him because of the way people have been dying from the horrible cold and also by the way people have been abandoning the settlement to find a warmer place that is nearby. The final and one of the most clear characteristics of realism that the speech given by Chief Joseph contains is government. This is not the use of government in the same aspect as the U.S. government though. This speech contains the idea of government because of the fact that the speech is given by the chief of his own settlement. This is very important to the speech because of the impact that Joseph puts on the speech simply because he is the chief of the settlement. If he were not the chief and he were still giving this speech of surrender, then it would not have the same stinging effect that it does because it would not show how the war has affected everyone in the village. Since it is the chief who is giving the speech, this shows that everyone in the village has been affected by this battle. Even the chief of the village has been so discouraged by this battle, that he will never fight again. When the chief of a village says this, it always has an everlasting effect the the audience or reader.

Joseph, Chief. "I Will Fight No More." Glencoe American Literature. comp. Wilhelm, Jeffery. McGraw Hill. Columbus, OH. 2009. 533. Print.(Quinn)

Quinn, Edward. "realism." A Dictionary of Literary and Thematic Terms, Second Edition. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2006.Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE54&SID=5&iPin= Gfflithem0706&SingleRecord=True (accessed February 15, 2011).

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