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Women in Traditional Cultures in Novels

Ramona is a pillar of strength as well as a tragic figure in this novel, yet Jackson contributes to a new stereotype by making her heroine so beautiful and so strong while also having a degree of white blood in her, thus feeding those who see her white parentage as the reason she is stronger than others. For that matter, both she and her husband are described as being light-skinned compared to others in the tribe, again elevating white as a higher value. Alessandro is meant to be a full-blooded Indian, but he is also made more palatable not just by his skin color but by the fact that he has been educated by Catholic missionaries. Ramona is the ideal such a man deserves.

Women for Joaquin Murieta in the account by Yellow Bird in Joaquin Murieta have a certain romantic power, serving as ideals not just for Murieta but for society, as when April is described: "While here, the women appeared in their proper attire, and were admired for their exceedingly modest and quiet deportment" (Yellow Bird 30). Women are often considered plunder, as when Reis and his men attack and take Rosalie prisoner. At the same time, the ambivalence felt toward women is evident as one of the men hits the girl's mother and is shot dead by Reis for doing so. Reis himself fist steals the girl and then reacts with kindness to her plight: "Such is the maddening effect


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