In Mabel McKay by Greg Sarris, how does Sarris mirror the worldview of Native American identity and spirituality?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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After battling with himself over how to fulfill Mabel's request that he write her biography, Sarris finally gave in to tell her life story by story. Each story mirrors the Native American worldview because Mabel embodies that worldview as it was traditionally preserved and expressed in medicine women, which is what describes Mabel in addition to being a weaver of baskets and a weaver of Dream.

   "Well, theme I don't know nothing about. That's somebody else's rule. You just do the best way you know how. What you know from me."
   Back to the facts. I drove on in silence. Mirages rose from the hot pavement. Stories.

The beginning story was during the drought one of her early stories tells about. She was a child then and had Dream at night leaving her sleepless and with swollen eyes during the day. Sarris mirrors the worldview of Native Americans (if all Native American tribes can be generalized under one worldview on specific points) by plunging his story into the supernatural realm of spiritual communication and vision that underpins the personal, medicinal, and religious systems of Indigenous North American tribal peoples.

In addition, Sarris's first story about Mable mirrors the Native American worldview when he tells not only about how her mother sensed things, like being tracked by someone, but also about Mable's "old" abilities showing through when she was but a child. For example, Mable was a three-year-old when she handed her mother Sarah meat to ward off the attack of a man who had come to poison Sarah and then walked to "push" him away down the street with "her eyes." 

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