Essay:The boundary between health and disease;,
There are a lot of boundaries, including the literal and figurative boundaries between health, illness, and animality in Sherman Alexie™s poem The Farm. In 1.Jonah, the scientists have discovered that the bone marrow of Indians can be used to kill cancer. This is the boundary between health and illness. People with cancer can get cured using others™ bone marrow; that is, some people™s health is based on other™s suffering or illness. This boundary leads to a critical problem. Some suffering is acceptable to achieve other good things, while other people think suffering is universally unacceptable. And the legacy of colonial history has been raised, and many people are used to study health and disease against humanitarianism. People are enslaved and even experimented in the service of slave owners. They risk their health and even life for slaveholders™ health. Just after this discovery, the authority is going to shut down the borders, which indicates the boundary between humans and other animals. Animals can be thought of as a being, whose suffering isn™t thought of as illness, and whose life if made instrumental to human health. It is also distinguished by their rights. Only animals are kept in zoos, not allowed to get out, just like the border to the Indians.
In the 3.Charlie the Cook, they get tattooed against their will. The Breeder men and women are put in cells, not allowed to talk and forced to bear children as many as they can. This illustrates the boundary between humans and nonhuman animals. Humans can control their environment, while nonhuman animals cannot. Only slaves in colony got marked in history. Humans have the right to guard their will and freedom. Even animals should not be marked and used as reproduction tools. The cell- breeders are just like the animal in zoos. There is also strong critical emphasis on dehumanizing influences of colonial history. People are treated like animals and are deprived of human rights in colonial history. The boundary of humans and nonhuman animals was unclear at that time. The boundary of human health and illness was also unclear in colonial history. Many people were caught as slaves and even treated as experimental tools for other people™s health. In the 4.Agnes the Waitress, she tells the life of reproduction tools in detail. She tries to keep her humanity by loving the Indian men forced to enter her. She has to try to let her babies go, just like animals do. They try to get pregnant for its better living conditions. Every time they try to enjoy something they want, they are parted by soldiers. They have no rights to be mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. We can see the boundary of humans and animals clearly. Their suffering is made illegible, invisible, and unknowable. They lack the sense of beauty. And their living goal is just a better environment and survival.
In the 5.Charlie the Cook, since the Breeder can neither talk with each other nor develop a relationship with each other, they have developed a highly complex and sign language. They can communicate with each other using slight gesture, some subtle moves. They even can express themselves like laughing and crying by certain behavior. It™s the boundary between humans and nonhuman animals. Animals are capable of non-normative forms of expression and communication. Also, animals™ communication involves alternative forms of expression, especially gestural, touch, or non-verbal sense experience. They can simply express their feelings, but they don™t have complex and anthropocentric language, which reminds human to be aware of the diversity of sense experience. In the 6.Agnes the Waitress, she says, The White people never thought to ask if we would voluntarily donate the marrow. Animals™ suffering is invisible and unknowable. Their life is made instrumental to human.
Also, many literary forms have been employed to enhance those boundaries in this poem. From the beginning of this poem, Jonah recalls that he was eating lunch in the Tribal Cafe and was only halfway through his fry bread when he heard the news about the bone marrow. This possesses a very strong sense of pictures of how this poem starts, and how they enjoy their life and freedom before they get caught. Then he is caught by some soldiers, he keeps asking, What am I and then keeps telling himself that I™m a bag of bones. This metaphor is quite vivid, and enhances the boundary between humans and nonhuman animals whose life is made instrumental to human health. Then it comes to repeated soliloquy by Sam the Indian. The Indian has been used to demonstrate the boundary of humans and nonhuman animals. Animals™ suffering isn™t thought of as illness, and their life is made instrumental to human health. The Indian, their life is used to cure cancer. They suffer a lot without anyone™s attention. They are animals instead of humans. With repeated soliloquy in 2.Sam the Indian, readers can feel the powerful mental activities. The blades indicate the suffering, while the Indian implies the animals. When they suffer of pain, they are just animals instead of humans. Nobody cares their suffering and pain.
In the end of the 3.Charlie the Cook, Charlie touches another hand in the dark. The feelings of the touch are described vividly. And also in the 5.Charlie the Cook, many slight gestures are portrayed for the Indian™s sign language, which helps enhance the boundary between humans and nonhuman animals. The readers can understand how they communicate with others and how they express their feelings without human language. Just like animals™ gestures cannot be read, people outside the cells cannot understand what they are talking about. Animals are capable of non-normative forms of expression and communication.
The 6.Agnes the Waitress is the thoughts of Agnes. She hurls a question, the white people never thought to ask if they would voluntarily donate the marrow. This internal monologue boosts the boundary of humans and nonhuman animals, because animals™ suffering is invisible. In the 7.Jonah, they sing the old songs, way, ya, hi, yo, which demonstrates Indian language and Indian culture. We will find our music again. That is, they are going to fight for the freedom and independence. In the 8.Sam the Indian, there is a series of repeated internal monologue, which is compared with the 2.Sam the Indian. From blades to heaven, the Indians went through colony and then won their freedom in history. The two conditions are both the Indians™ history. In the 9.Charlie the Cook, There are rumors repeats five times. The feelings of freedom get stronger and stronger. First, the Indian women and men start fighting for their rights instead of slavery. Second, a large army of sympathetic outsiders, all kinds of mankind, starts to fight for the Indians™ freedom, and fight against slavery. Then, all the cancer is gone, which indicates that there are no more inequality and oppression. The whole mankind gets freedom. They will give us medals of honor as we leave. The human will praise for their defence of slavery. The human will sing the praises of their bravery and their fight for freedom. No more colonies would be established once they won their fight. It™s a song for Indians and for the whole mankind. ?-Z?