House Made of Dawn by Scott Momaday

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Book Report/Review
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Pages 18 (4518 words)
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House of Dawn is a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; Authored by Scott Momaday the masterpiece has led to the breakthrough of Native American literature into the main stream. In June 1945, a young Tano Indian named Abel returns from World War II army service to his home village, Walatowa, in New Mexico's Canon de San Diego, only to discover that he has entered a hell between two cultures…

Introduction

Francisco instills in Abel a sense of native traditions and values, but the war and other events alienates Abel's connections to that world of spiritual and physical wholeness and connectedness to the land and its people, a world known as a "house made of dawn.
It is the urban world of post-war white America, with its material abundance and promises of plenty that draws Abel away from his people. Abel arrives home and secures a job through Father Olguin chopping wood for Angela St. John, a rich white woman who is visiting the area to bathe in the mineral waters. Angela seduces Abel to distract herself from her own unhappiness, but also because she senses an animal-like quality in Abel. She promises to help him leave the reservation to find better means of employment. Possibly as a result of this affair, Abel realizes that his return to the reservation has been unsuccessful. He no longer feels at home and he is confused. His turmoil becomes clearer when a local albino Indian named Juan Reyes, described as "the white man", beats him in a game of horsemanship. Deciding Juan is a witch, Abel stabs him to death outside of a bar. Abel is then found guilty of murder and sent to jail.
Father Olguin, the Catholic priest in the pueblo, tries to explain Abel's perception of his victim as an evil spirit, admitting that the motivation behind ...
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