Journal article Open Access

A Second Look: Scott O'Dell's Sing Down the Moon.

Perry Nodelman

When I wrote this in 1984, I thought of myself as a humane and tolerant person expressing humane, tolerant views. I'm uploading it three decades later because I find much of what I say here embarrassing--and because what embarrasses me is my utterly unconscious assumption of white male privilege. I praise O'Dell's choice of not providing his young Navaho narrator with a name for much of the book--a choice I now see as a commentary on the deprivation of her personhood that in fact confirms and reinforces that deprivation. I also praised O'Dell's depiction of the Navajo stoicism and refusal to express anger at what is happening to them--another confirmation of a hoary stereotype. Worst of all, I simply took it as an absolute truth that no one who was Navajo or even remotely like a Navajo would ever be part of the audience of the book. I have uploaded the article here not only because I feel guilty about what I once took for granted, and because I hope I have learned enough and grown enough to be less guilty now than I was in 1984.

Files (2.8 MB)
Name Size
19755985_A_Second_Look_Scott_ODells_Sing_Down_the.pdf
md5:eb574ca627de36f00ccc85e9b9899949
2.8 MB Download
13
7
views
downloads
All versions This version
Views 1314
Downloads 77
Data volume 19.3 MB19.3 MB
Unique views 1112
Unique downloads 66

Share

Cite as