The two accounts that you read above are based in two distant cultures. What is the commonality of theme found in both of them?
The autobiographical accounts included in the “Memories of Childhood” are by two women from socially marginalized sections in two distant cultures of the world. One highlights the evil practice of racial prejudice while the other talks about the hierarchical Indian caste system and untouchability. The first part traces how the author, a Native American, was victimized at the hands of the European staff of her boarding school. The second account gives a picture of the hardships and humiliations faced by the Indian ‘Dalits’ from the eyes of a third standard student.
Although they are set in different cultures, both the stories share a similar theme. They show the sufferings and oppression faced by their respective communities. The practice of social stratification is rebuked by both the authors. Zitkala-Sa’s hair was “shingled” at the behest of Europeans who considered themselves superior to the Native American. On the other hand, Bama witnessed untouchability being practiced openly where people from ‘lower castes’ were considered impious and were not even allowed to touch the people from the upper castes. From a very young age, both Zitkala-Sa and Bama start protesting and resisting in their own ways.