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URN etd-0804110-150648
Author Po-jen Chu
Author's Email Address loduabian@gmail.com
Statistics This thesis had been viewed 5559 times. Download 1466 times.
Department Foreign Language and Literature
Year 2009
Semester 2
Degree Master
Type of Document
Language English
Title Autobiography Re-defined: A Discussion of Anita Endrezze’s Life Writing Throwing Fire at the Sun, Water at the Moon
Date of Defense 2010-07-26
Page Count 110
Keyword
  • Throwing Fire at the Sun
  • Water at the Moon
  • Yaqui
  • Life Writing
  • Autobiography
  • Anita Endrezze
  • Abstract This thesis investigates autobiography from the standpoint of Native Americans, using Anita Endrezze’s work as my anchor text. Drawing on Hertha Wong’s critical position on Native American life writing, I argue that Anita Endrezze’s autobiography, Throwing Fire at the Sun, Water at the Moon (2000), widens the scope of traditional generic limitations. The first chapter is the introduction, which delineates the theme of the thesis and introduces Yaqui history and Endrezze’s family and cultural background. The second chapter analyzes what characterizes Native American autobiography by borrowing Hertha Wong’s standpoint. Hertha Wong is one of the first theorists who yearn to widen the scope of the well-established generic limitations. She theorizes Native American autobiography by putting its etymology (“self,” “life,” and “writing”) under scrutiny. Wong’s critical base is the key thread of the chapter, and other critics’ positions on Native American life writing are also provided as subsidizing points. Chapter Three revolves around how Endrezee conceptualizes “the self” in her autobiographical narratives. Wong argues that Native Americans never regard the self as a separate entity from their community. Correspondingly, Endrezze consciously strives to construct a communal self in her personal narratives. To reach the aim, she relates herself to her relatives, her ancestors, and the present-day Yaquis. Besides, through her homing-in journey, she makes a direct connection to her ancestral homeland. Therefore, the representation of the self is not only community-based but also localized. Chapter Four aims to show that Endrezze’s life narratives go beyond the realms of humans. That is, her autobiography resists anthropocentric narratives. She tells stories about the corn, the rain, and a wide variety of plants and animals. It is through the assistance of non-humans that human life is sustainable. Chapter Five aims to argue that Endrezze’s autobiography shatters the fallacy that Native American culture is in demise. On the contrary, it is burgeoning. Endrezze uses her autobiography to fight back. Endrezze attempts to hybridize the languages to pose some reading obstacles to Euro-Americans. Besides, inserting her paintings at the end of autobiography is also a political act because it subverts traditional writing system. She mocks at the mono-dimensional narratives. Chapter Six is my conclusion, in which Endrezze’s cultural and literary contributions are re-affirmed. It is my deep hope that Endrezze’s book can, as her book title symbolizes, become another form of fire/water to continue the life of Yaquis.
    Advisory Committee
  • Kai-ling, Liu - chair
  • Min-hsiou, Hung - co-chair
  • Hsinya, Huang - advisor
  • Files
  • etd-0804110-150648.pdf
  • indicate access worldwide
    Date of Submission 2010-08-04

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