Chee’s Daughter

A characters environment reveals a great deal about his
personality. In Chee’s Daughter by Juanita Platero and
Siyowin Miller this theory is displayed. In this story a young
Navajo Indian girl is taken from her home by her deceased
mother’s parents. Two different environments which reflect
values and personalities are conflicting. A young traditional
Navajo,Chee , and a non-traditional Navajo businessman,
Old Man Fat , fight over Chee’s daughter, Little One. The two
distinctly different settings in this story reflect the
personalities of the protagonist,Chee , and the antagonist
Old Man Fat.

Chee’s setting reflects his caring nature. He shows this
by caring for the land he lives on like a father would do for
his son. He shows that he cares for the land by thinking that
“if he sang the proper songs, if he cared for the land
faithfully, it would not forsake him now…”(82) Chee is trying
to grow food and he thinks that if he cares for the land and
respects it that the earth would in turn make the food grow
well. Another way to show this is how Chee thought that if he
“Take care of the land and it will take care of you.”(81) Chee
cared and respected the land and in turn the land gave him
food for which he would to barter back Little One from Old
Man Fat. Chee treats the land as an equal. “he felt so
strongly that just now this was something between himself
and the land.”(82) Chee treats the land as an equal, respects
it and it respects him by giving him the food he needs.
Where he lives is pure and real, like the earth.

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The setting Old Man Fat chooses to live in reflects his
personality and values. Old Man Fat owns a small store one
the side of the highway that disregards some Navaho
customs and beliefs. He does this by flaunting “…pseudo-
Navajo designs on the roof.”(78) This is very disrespectful to
his tribe. He does not even try to find some real Navajo
symbols with real meaning. Another way Old Man Fat’s
values are portrayed in his setting is how he has a “garish
blue door which faced north to the highway.”(78) Navajo
Indians face their hogans, homes, to the east so that they
awake with the sun which symbolizes a new beginning. Lastly
Old Man Fat’s setting reflects his personality is when he has
his grand-daughter, Little One, stand in a hogan so that
tourists could “see inside a real Navajo home 25 c.” This
depicts his personality because it shows that he would rather
make money than to have his grand-daughter shown-off like
an exhibit.

In the story two contrasting settings display opposite
personalities. Old Man Fat’s disrespectful, greedy nature
clashes with Chee’s respectful and unselfish ways. This world
would be a whole lot better if it was filled with more people
like Chee instead of those profiteering gluttons like Old Man

Category: English


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