Jaclyn Paryka, UMass Boston
Jaclyn Partyka is currently pursuing her Master's degree at the University of Massachusetts Ð Boston. She received her B.A. in English from Ursinus College in 2006. She currently works at a writing tutor and her research interests include inarticulate narratives, the role of minor characters in Shakespeare and the language of outsiders in William Faulkner's novels.
Abel's Ambiguity: Nontraditional Voice in Momaday's House Made of Dawn
Though Abel is the protagonist of N. Scott Momaday's novel House Made of Dawn, he is also the most inarticulate and silent character. Unable to balance his traumatic experiences following World War II and the disconnection from his native community of Jemez, Abel must appropriate a voice capable of expressing the contradictions of his identity. However, Abel's gradual reacquisition of voice is unconventional as it cannot be articulated in traditional verbal forms. Western and linear concepts of voice are too limited and restricted for Native American expression that tends to focus on auditory sounds, symbols, memory and actions. These clashes ultimately result in Abel's ambiguous acquisition of voice at the finale of House Made of Dawn, blending nontraditional Native American voice with an individual identity unable to forget the influences of white Western culture.