John Newlove, “The Pride”

  1. Carefully read through the poem and summarize the thought of each section in a sentence or two. Note how Newlove covers briefly the history of settlement in the west.
  2. Newlove says, “the indians / are not composed of / the romantic stories / about them, or of the stories / they tell only.” What else is part of them?
  3. Notice how Newlove’s description of the country changes from “a desolate country” in part one, to “the plains are bare, / not barren” in part four. Does his attitude to the native people change, too?
  4. It is commonly accepted that white settlers, invading the world of the Indian, imposed their own culture on the native people and rejected that of the Indian. Newlove says instead, “they become our true forbears . . . we are their people, come back to life.” In what sense are they our forbears? What common background of experience do we have?
  5. Explain the significance of the title. To what pride does it refer? The pride of the Indian? Of the white people? A pride in a heritage that is common to both?
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