Activity 7.4 Essay Assignment: Reforming Women, history homework help


Jane Addams and Zitkala-Sa’s are two very different women from two very different worlds. You can think about them as looking at the same process of civilizing those elements of society seen as “uncivilized” a designation that applied to both Native Americans and recent immigrants. You will really want to think broadly about this idea of “settlement” and how upper and middle class white americans were seeking to “civilize” the people of southern Europe and the Native Americans as neither fit nicely into the ideals of the upper middle class. Zitkala-Sa was a recipient of this treatment and it is important for us to grapple with these challenging ideas of identity and race and how these ideas come into conflict with these the goals and experiences of individual reformers and their subjects.

Steps to complete the Assignment:

  1. Read the two sets of documents at the end of Chapter 7 on pages 376-387 (Zitkala-Sa and Jane Addams).
  2. Answer the following questions. Your essay should be 400-600 words long:
    • How did white society try to assimilate Native American children?
    • One scholar has characterized the assimilationist education offered by well-meaning white “friends of the Indian” as a kind of “tender violence.” Given Zitkala-Sa’s account, what do you think of this term?
    • Compare the response of the author to the noise and regimentation of her school to the experiences of European immigrants arriving into bustling, industrial American Cities.
    • Early in this essay, Addams speaks of the conditions in “the poor districts of any city” as “frontier-like.” What does she mean by this? What were the similarities between the “settlement” of the West and “settlement” houses?
    • How does Addams approach to charity for immigrants compare and/or contrast with that of the reformers who created the Native American boarding schools?
    • Explain and support your answer with examples from the resources.