, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 147–160 | Cite as

Ethnic identity in Thomas King’s Green Grass, Running Water

  • Jovana PetrovićEmail author


The paper analyzes the elements that constitute Native American identity in Thomas King’s Green Grass, Running Water (1993). In the novel, King juxtaposes two ethnic identities, white Christian American, representing the majority in the American society, and Native American, representing a minority. King portrays the struggle of Native Americans in the US and Canada to define their identity given the historically long rift between their native heritage and the white culture. Stigmatized for their ethnicity and race, Native Americans were exposed to marginalization and prejudice and forced to somehow overcome this position. The struggle has been made more difficult by the efforts of the dominant society to assimilate them and at the same time prevent them from claiming full citizenship. King carefully weaves the stories of his characters, who constantly go back and forth between the reservation lands and the outside world, having to find their position in both and usually not belonging to either. By focusing on the world of the reservation, Native American spirituality, tribal tradition of storytelling, and creation myths, King examines different aspects of Native American ethnic identity and, through juxtaposition of the Native American ethnic identity with that of the dominant society, reevaluates the marginalized position of the Native Americans.


Thomas King Green Grass Running Water Native American identity Ethnicity Hybridity 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English Studies, Faculty of PhilosophyUniversity of Novi SadNovi SadSerbia

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