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Thomas King explains how an individual’s innermost character can be a true dilemma between recognition and non-recognition through his work Crossing Borders. Incorporation of cultural pride and determination are the main ideas in this fantastic work. King uses a single mother to bring out his thoughts throughout the narration (Goldman 67). It is his advice to the political class that they should avoid oppressing the minority people among the American-Canadian states. Thomas in this work contributes greatly to the major ideas that come out from his views. For instance, there exist borders between different States of America. According to Thomas, to cross the border may be a social problem. There also exist different categories of people depending on race, wealth and nationality. The majority of the groups flourish in better life at the expense of the minority.
A young boy in the story asked his mother about the identity of her nationality. The mother could not provide a solid answer to the question, instead of the answer she decided to tell the boy that I am Blackfooted (Arnold, Priscilla & Andres 56). It is from the opinion that his mother demonstrates herself as being a Native American Woman. The author tries to suggest that all people in the North American society should accept their origin and their current destination. In this sense, the author brings his audience to the realization that they should commit themselves to practice equality across all people they deal with. This should be irrespective of the origin, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, race or disability.
The writer has employed different strategies to handle his audience creatively in relation to the Border. Irony comes out clearly, when the boy’s mother experiences difficulty by stating that she is Blackfooted, people who are considered original occupants of the area long time before the Americans and Canadians migrated to the region. The Canadians and Americans took away land from its original owners and currently they treat the aborigines as the minority group in the area.
Borders as a title play a crucial part in developing themes of this book in many ways (Arnold, Priscilla & Andres 89). It can be interpreted in two ways. The Canadian-American border marks a physical representation of the two nations. It also represents the border through which the major society imposes cruel activities on the minor community. The tradition today has enabled people to get fair treatment. It should be clear that all cultural activities of the world are equal and they deserve respect.
A border in this context is a very symbolic issue since it has different roles, which it plays towards the development of the theme in the story. For example, the protagonist has an experience of conflict on identity, which many people may undergo in their daily endeavors. She fights to maintain her innermost identity, when she tries to cross over from Canada to America and back. The title is interesting while it brings out the central idea of the story (Goldman 78). Thomas King uses the border since it can function in more than one way. For example, it means, different political or geographical areas. Border in this context serves in different capacities. The tribe of the Blackfoot is traced on both sides of America and Canada. The Blackfooted community being the minority faces greater ethnic problems that occur between their own traditions and American-Canadian traditions. The woman feels that the question from the border guard is crucial for her to answer. According to the answer provided by the protagonist, the guard is confused to identify her identity, although, he makes a conclusion that she belonged to Blackfooted people, which she felt proud to be associated with. It is from the writer’s point of view that the guard expected the woman to belong to either Canada or America. This implies that not all the other people had such problems, thus proving the minority point of the Blackfooted ones. The guardian says, but you have to be an American or a Canadian (Goldman 94).
The border guards failed to attend to these minorities sending them away. They remained undecided on where to go. It is very unfair for visitors like American and Canadians who invaded in the land of other people only to displace them deny them access to their original places. This is an indicator of the hardship, which the Blackfooted minority group faces in both nations. At this point, the author believes that there exist differences in the context of defining identity between the guards and the protagonists (Arnold, Priscilla & Andres 100).
The guards believe that Blackfoot lacks sufficiency to define a person’s identity, while the protagonists believe contrary to the guards` expectations. The writer reminds his audience that they should not give up in whatever they do in life. For instance, the protagonists went back to the American border the following morning only to receive the same reactions. This time round the American border guards did not send the protagonists a way, instead, they gave a vote of thanks to them and let them through afterwards. It reveals how hardworking the mother was. She was determined to go on with her life despite living in a difficult environment. She did not change her mind in all the situations. She maintained that she was Blackfooted even during hardship periods. She never agreed to be a Canadian nor an American. It gives the impression that all people should maintain their faith and dignify their traditions. The title “Border” fits this story, since it contributes greatly to the main theme as well as providing real life experiences that people should learn to cope with in life.