The Education of Little Tree Questions and Answers
by Forrest Carter

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Why do the politicians visit Little Tree and his grandparents?

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The white lady and man in suits who visit Little Tree and his grandparents are politicians. The purpose of their visit is to gather information about Little Tree’s education and upbringing. However, they have already established from sources that Little Tree does not attend formal school.

In addition, due to the prevalent racial prejudice, the authorities have concluded that Little Tree’s Indian grandparents are incapable of raising their grandchild appropriately. Therefore, the two visitors have brought some paperwork for Little Tree’s grandparents to sign and relinquish their custody of the child to the state.

Unfortunately, Little Tree’s grandparents fail to secure appropriate legal representation to contest the decision. The lawyer they approach discourages them from pursuing the matter, indicating that it was a lost cause. Eventually, after three days, Little Tree is taken away to an orphanage where he lives for several months albeit under extreme conditions.

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