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The Macksey Journal

Abstract

This paper will present an in-depth analysis of Tommy Orange’s novel There There, demonstrating the marginalization of Native Americans living in a so-called post-race United States. Orange provides intertextual references, mainly Hip-Hop musicians, to help establish where this particular group of people, Urban Native Americans, fit into contemporary society and popular culture. By focusing on the breakdown of characters such as Tony Loneman, a black-market entrepreneur, the Red Feather brothers, three young boys coming of age, and Dene Oxendene, an aspiring filmmaker, there will be an elaboration of just how Orange is able to explain the Indigenous plight by having a musicians and authors seamlessly correlate and communicate with the characters present in the text. Through the examination of these multiple intertextual references, other relevant topics and themes that are portrayed within the novel will be explored, including double-consciousness, symbolic annihilation, and assimilation. The reiteration of these reoccurring themes related to oppression also allows for the exploitation of the negative past and present lives of Indigenous peoples in America to finally be discussed, and more importantly recognized, by a broader audience.

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