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UAH / English / ENGL 208 / Who is zits?

Who is zits?

Who is zits?


School: University of Alabama - Huntsville
Department: English
Course: Readings in Literature 2
Professor: Holly jones
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: Reading, Literature, Flight, nervous, and conditions
Cost: 50
Name: Literature Exam 3 Study Guide
Description: Character and Chapter analysis for "Flight" and "Nervous Conditions"
Uploaded: 11/04/2016
6 Pages 40 Views 1 Unlocks

Readings in Literature and Culture 2

Who is zits?

Dr. Holly Jones


Characters and Chapter Analysis

- Characters:  

o Zits: fifteen-year-old orphan. Half Native American, half Irish. Transports  through time and lives in the bodies of five other men.

▪ Hank Storm: FBI agent in the 1970’s.  

∙ Art: Hank’s partner. Kills Junior, a young Native American  

captured by Elk and Horse, members of IRON

▪ Indian boy: mute warrior child at the battle of Little Bighorn.

∙ Crazy Horse: let the Native American forces at the Battle of Little  Bighorn

∙ Custer: commander of the U.S. Calvary who disobeyed orders and  was defeated at the Battle of Little Bighorn

Who is the commander of the u.s. calvary who disobeyed orders and was defeated at the battle of little bighorn?

▪ Gus: an Indian tracker for the U.S. Calvary

∙ Bow Boy: a young Native American child who is saved by Gus  

and Small Saint

∙ Small Saint: young Calvary soldier, disobeys orders and saves  

Bow Boy

▪ Jimmy: a pilot who kills himself under the presence of Zits

∙ Abbad: Jimmy’s best friend, whom he taught to fly a plane. Abbad  turned out to be a terrorist who crashed his plane in Chicago.

∙ Helga: Jimmy’s mistress

∙ Linda: Jimmy’s wife

▪ Zits’ father: Left Zits and his mother the day he was born to live on the  streets.

Who is an indian tracker for the u.s. calvary ?

If you want to learn more check out How intervention drives brain development?

o Edgar: Native American foster father who resents Zits for beating him in a model  airplane race

o Justice: boy Zits meets in jail. They live together for a while and Justice  convinces Zits to commit mass murder.  

o Robert: Zits’ final foster father. Officer Dave’s brother

o Mary: Zits’ final foster mother; she buys medication for his acne

o Zits’ mother: died of cancer when he was six-years-old

o Officer Dave: police officer who Zits confides in.

- Chapter Analysis:  

o Chapters 1-3:

▪ Zits uses his confidence as a shield, so that the reader can know about but  not understand the emotional impact of Zits’ past.  If you want to learn more check out What is the united fruit company?

▪ It is obvious that the root of Zits’ problems is the absence of his father;  Zits does not understand why, in all the memories of his mother and the  stories she told of his father, he was unhappy enough to leave his family.  

▪ Zits has conflicting feelings toward his Native American heritage; he  yearns for a relationship with them, yet hates the fact that he spends time  with the poor Native Americans he gets drunk with.

▪ Zits meets Justice, a seemingly perfect human being who has all the  answers that Zits has been searching for. Justice symbolizes Zits’ need to  achieve “justice” for his race.  

▪ Zits and Justice discuss the “Ghost Dance”, a Native American tradition  with the intent to bring back or bring justice for the dead. Since many  Ghost Dances throughout history resulted in massacre- many who  practiced were killed by the Calvary- this alludes to the massacre Zits  plans to commit. If you want to learn more check out What type(s) of memory systems were affected?
Don't forget about the age old question of What factors lead to each arising form of conformity?

▪ Violence shows itself as the dominant theme of the story when Zits  commits an act of terrorism in a Seattle bank. Alexie wrote the book so  that readers would sympathize with a disturbed kid, and then made him  commit mass murder in order to test the reader’s sensitivity to violence.  o Chapters 4-6:

▪ Zits “wakes up” as a different person. As Hank, Zits is able to view his  own thoughts from a distant point of view, as though he was reading his  own story. This means that he has a better understanding of his opinions  and actions without bias.  Don't forget about the age old question of What is the most common drug for every ethnic group?

▪ This event makes Zits realize that good looks do not make one a good  person. Hank is the epitome of what Zits wishes he looked like, but Zits  soon learns that Hank is a murderer.  

▪ Zits discovered that Horse and Elk, who had learned were heroes to the  Native American community, were in reality traitors: an indication that  Zits is learning and recognizing what he thinks is wrong and right.  

▪ When Zits regrets having to shoot the dead body of Junior, the reader gets  the first evidence of Zits’ transformation.  

o Chapters 7-9:

▪ Zits wakes up as another person: a little Indian boy. This “waking up” hints that these experiences could merely be dreams.  

▪ Zits is overjoyed at being in an Indian camp, and he thinks he finally has a  complete family. This is the first time Zits admits that he wishes he could  have been full-blooded Native American.

▪ Zits’ inability to speak could symbolize that, while earlier in the book he  relished his emotional distance from others, now he wishes to  We also discuss several other topics like What is defined as the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfil requirements?

communicate and cannot. The distance he used to appreciate now becomes  a hindrance.  

▪ Zits questions himself when he notices that Crazy Horse is only half  Native American, and not full-blooded like Zits wants to be. He is once  again realizing that not everything in life is as it appears on the surface.

▪ Zits witnesses the Natives desecrating the bodies of the dead Calvary  soldiers, and while Zits respected them at first, he does not understand  why this level of disrespect is necessary.  

▪ At the end of this transformation, Zits refuses to kill a Calvary soldier,  unlike the past two sections where he did fire a weapon. Here the reader  gets an understanding of Zits’ transformation; he finally realized that he  had a choice that did not always have to end in violence.

o Chapters 10-12:

▪ Zits wakes up as Gus, an old Irish man who has been given the task of  leading the U.S. Calvary to a Native American camp. When Zits tries to  control Gus and lead him away from the camp, he finds that Gus can  overpower him with his memories of violence caused by Natives.  

▪ Here Zits watches the violence unfold without taking any part in it, so he  understands how the bank incident would appear to anyone outside of his  perspective.  

▪ By choosing to help Small Saint protect Bow Boy, Zits realizes that he  always has the ability to choose to do something good rather than  committing an act of violence.  

o Chapters 13-15:

▪ In this section, Zits is entirely insignificant; he has no control over Jimmy  and is merely a bystander to his emotions and actions. This section is  extremely reminiscent of 9/11; it shows the transformation of Jimmy, first  meeting someone he thought could be a terrorist simply due to his  nationality, then shedding his racism and befriending the man while  teaching him to pilot a plane, then finally realizing that Abbad was a  terrorist all along.  

∙ This shows Zits that, while he previously thought he could judge  people on their race, people are more complicated that merely their  heritage.  

▪ Although Zits has no emotional connection with Jimmy, this section is  meant to give Zits further exposure to violence, and, more importantly, the  emotional effects of violence.  

▪ By embodying a man who betrayed his wife, Zits realizes the importance  of his betrayal toward the people in the bank.

o Chapters 16-18:

▪ At first Zits does not know whose body he inhabits, knowing only that he  is a homeless, drunk, Native American man. This gives him a chance to  empathize with the man without his biased opinions toward him.  

▪ By learning that the man is his father, and experiencing his memories,  Zits’ journey is over. The reason why his father was never part of his life  was what Zits had been wondering his whole life, and now he knew the  answer.  

o Chapters 19-21:

▪ Back at the bank, it is obvious that Zits has learned his lesson. He looks at  a mother and son with a different view that he did before- now he thinks  they are beautiful whereas before he was jealous and spiteful of them.

▪ Zits earns a second chance by turning himself in to Officer Dave. He  chose to avoid violence, because the violence he endured during his  transformations have transformed him.  

▪ After moving in with his new foster family, Zits shows that he is learning  to value himself much more than before. By telling Mary his real name,  Zits shows that he has embraced the possibility of a new life and a new  beginning.

Readings in Literature and Culture 2

Dr. Holly Jones

Nervous Conditions

Characters and Chapter Analysis

- Characters:  

o Babamukuru: Tambu’s uncle. Headmaster of the mission school. Studied in South  Africa, then England.  

o Maiguru: Tambu’s aunt. Studied with Babamukuru but is not looked up to like he  is because she is female.  

▪ Chido: disinterested in his family; studies with white colonists, so he is  used luxuries.  

▪ Nyasha: outspoken, often fights with her parents. Has an eating disorder  due to her negative self-image. Confides in Tambu like a sister.  

o Jeremiah: Tambu’s father, Babamukuru’s brother. Survives mainly by the support  of Babamukuru.  

o Ma’Shingayi: Tambu’s mother. Hardworking and sympathetic to her children’s  needs. Grows angry after the death of Nhamo.  

▪ Nhamo: Mean older brother of Tambu. Goes to the mission to study  because he is the oldest. Dies of an unknown illness.

▪ Tambudzai: Takes Nhamo’s place at the mission school, living with  Babamukuru and his family. She is torn between tradition and resenting  the restrictions placed on her gender.  

▪ Netsai 

▪ Rambanai 

o Lucia: Ma’Shingayi’s sister. Independent and confident. Gets a job at the mission  and later gets an education there as well.  

o Takesure: Jeremiah’s cousin. Helps at Jeremiah’s home after the death of Nhamo.  Impregnates Lucia despite his many wives.  

- Chapters Analysis:

o Chapter 1

▪ Here it is apparent that education is the only way out of poverty in 1960’s  Rhodesia. Although educated, Babamukuru seems to remain humble and  willing to help work on the homestead. Education treated Nhamo  

differently: he resents his poverty and avoids helping his family when at  all possible.  

▪ It is also obvious that gender inequality is a major issue for Rhodesian  society at this time. Tambu claims that Nhamo never carried his own  

luggage home, expecting the young women in the family to wait on him.  Nhamo even told her that she would not be able to go to school because  she is a girl.  

o Chapter 2

▪ Tambu’s mother says that Tambu is weighed down by “the poverty of  blackness” and the “weight of womanhood”. These remain the main  

themes throughout the book.

▪ When Tambu goes to town to sell her maize and a white woman gives her  enough money to pay for several years of schooling, several blacks gather  to watch and grow resentful. Perhaps they are ashamed that Tambu is taking charity from a snobby white woman. They are angry that white  colonialism has kept the natives dependent on the white civilization.  

▪ Tambu uses her grandmother’s story about Babamukuru’s success as a  message of inspiration. Although her circumstances are telling her that she  cannot receive an education because she is a young African girl, she  interprets her story as a message of hope: that she can do anything she sets  her mind to, just like Babamukuru.

o Chapter 3

▪ Tambu admires the way Babamukuru used his education to rise above his  poverty and remain humble. She sees that his education gave him  confidence, so he doesn’t feel the need to bully anyone like Nhamo does.  

▪ Tambu is disgusted with Nyasha’s dress, saying it was too short to cover  her thighs. She saw Nyasha’s apparel as a separation, believing that  Nyasha, like Nhamo, resented their culture.

▪ Tambu describes the family dinner, and how the oldest men get to wash  their hands first, using all the clean water, so the young women are  required to use the dirty water left over. Also, the women have to prepare  and serve the food for the men, and make sure they are satisfied before the  women have a chance to eat. This upsets Tambu because she is realizing  how little men view her gender.  

▪ Nhamo is chosen to go to the mission school, and brags about it to Tambu,  saying that naturally she couldn’t go to school because she is a girl.  Tambu saw this as a challenge, and when he died, she was overjoyed  because it meant that she got to go to the school in his place.  

o Chapter 4

▪ While at the mission, Tambu begins to understand why Nhamo acted so  spoiled. She fears how different life is at the mission; she is afraid that she  will not be able to leave her old life behind as easily as she had hoped due  to her lack of understanding this new culture.  

▪ Here Nyasha’s eating condition first appears. It is evident that Nyasha  resents all the things that are around her, how much she has and how well  off she is, so she consumes (literally) as little of it as she can.  

o Chapter 5

▪ It is shown that Maiguru resents how her education isn’t nearly as  important as Babamukuru’s, although they received the same education,  due to her being a woman and having duty toward her family.  

o Chapter 6

▪ Tambu is beginning to shed her original opinions of white people, and  even makes some friends at the school.  

▪ When Babamukuru and Nyasha fight, Tambu sees that while Babamukuru  believes that women deserve an education, their first obligation should be  toward their family. Nyasha strongly disagrees due to having lived in  England, and so they are always fighting.

o Chapter 7

▪ When Tambu returns home, she is overwhelmed by how disgusted she  feels toward the state of her home. Her mother notices the change in her  opinion and accuses her of judging her family and home.  

▪ A divide is driven between Maiguru and the other women in the family  because everyone else seems to believe that Maiguru thinks she is above  them due to her education and wealth.  

▪ Because Lucia is confident enough to stand up for herself and  Ma’Shingayi, the men think she is crazy and even label her a witch. This  shows that men believe their women should remain silent, and women  believe that it is their duty to remain quietly by the man’s side. Lucia does  not stand for this belief.

o Chapter 8

▪ By suggesting the marriage of her parents, Babamukuru insulted Tambu  deeply, basically referring to her very existence as a sin. Tambu refuses to  go to their wedding, standing up for her beliefs for the first time in the  story

▪ Lucia visits the mission with the intent to help Ma’Shingayi give birth and  finds a job for herself in the process. She stood up for herself, and through  the determination the men in the family scold her for, she earned a job and  an education.

o Chapter 9

▪ Maiguru leaves the family because she is unhappy and undervalued.  However, she returns after a few days because she feels she required to  take care of her family. This earns her some new respect from  


o Chapter 10

▪ Nyasha’s breakdown is due to the cultural isolation she feels from  everyone around her. Even Tambu, who has become her best friend, does  not share the same passionate questioning of her place in society that  Nyasha does.  

▪ When Tambu returns home, her mother tells her to be careful and watch  out for the “Englishness”, which she believes caused Nyasha’s  

breakdown. Ma’Shingayi views colonialism as a plague, much like the  illness that killed Nhamo.

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