In Louise Erdich's poem Dear John Wayne, who is the narrator in much of the poem, and who speaks the italicized lines?  Also, there are curious shifts in the diction, for instance from"some other plains bunch" (line 8)to "parlance"(line 11). whose voice do we hear in "some...bunch"? Consider, too, the diction in "to vanquish the hordes of mosquitoes"(line 4). if you were talking about mosquitoes, you probably would not use the word "vanquish" what do you think Erdrich is up to? Finally, what is meant by lines 24-25, specifically, Indians "slipping in the hot spilled butter"? What connection do these lines have with what presumably is going on in the film?

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Louise Erdich is of Native American ancestry.  The “Western” is a genre of film much reviled for its historical depiction of Native Americans.  John Wayne was the embodiment of the American West, and was considered the living symbol of American machismo and patriotism.  “Dear John Wayne,” is Erdich's indictment of the culture that celebrated the images personified – or so the stereotype has it – by Wayne in the films that denigrated as subhuman Native Americans while glorifying in their destruction.  It is fair to suggest that the narrator is Erdich herself, imbued as she is with a strong sense of her American Indian identity.

Films depicting the conflict between white settlers and the indigenous tribes on whose land the former routinely settled often provided crude depictions of those tribes.  “Dear John Wayne” is narrated by an individual who, together with at least one other person – and probably only one, given their position “on the hood of the Pontiac”...

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