We are celebrating the Wrong Things

Within my assigned twenty pages the number twenty-six appears four times.

To start off I decided to list anything that involves twenty-six.

  • Iron’s atomic number
  • letters in the interlingua alphabet
  • it is the number that means the God of Israel YHWH
  • 26 red cards/ 26 black cards in a deck of cards
  • John Wayne was born May 26 1907
  •  April 1726 : when Isaac Newton tell William Stukeley how he developed his theory of Gravity (interesting since there is so much falling done in the novel)
  • 1789 Washington declares November 26 Thanksgiving Day
  • November 26 1863 Thanksgiving is made a national, annual holiday

Since Canada’s Thanksgiving is this weekend I decided to stop and look at the significance of November 26. In the present-day USA the holiday seems to revolve around football, turkey and parades. So if this is such a joyous holiday then way does Coyote say he/she doesn’t “care much for November” (195)? The ‘First Thanksgiving’ is remembered as being a celebration where the Pilgrims thanked the Natives (but really they were ta for allowing them to survive the brutal winter in New England and Natives were invited to the feast. But in reality it was a land discussion that brought the ‘Natives’ to the feast. I cannot give justice to what really happened on the ‘First Thanksgiving’ in less than 600 words so please check out this site and this site + video. The ‘friendship’ that the Pilgrims and Natives supposedly gained from this feast eventually led to war and murder.

Another date involving 26 is January 26. In Australia this is known as Australia Day, but to Aboriginal Peoples of Australia it is known as a ‘Day of Mourning’. While most of Australia celebrate their great country, the Aboriginal Peoples see this as the day that began the “degradation and mistreatment by white settlers” in 1788 and symbolizes their loss of land, culture and human rights at the hands of invaders… the wrong things that have happened to them. In 1788 the First Fleet arrived in Sydney Cove.

On the 1888 Australia Day Aboriginal leaders boycotted the celebrated, but it wasn’t until 1938 that the first “Day of Mourning’  protest took place.

On the anniversary in 1938 the Australian Government tried to re-enact this. They wanted to make the re-enactment authentic so they sent for 26 Aboriginal People to come from the re-enactment. These men did not come voluntarily, but came only because they were told that their rations would be cut off it they did not. These men were kept in stables at the back of the police department until the day of the re-enactment.

As pointed out in class Alberta tells a story about the Aboriginal Peoples who were held prisoner at Fort Marion. She states that twenty-six of these prisoners drew. Now I have looked this up and found many different numbers for how many prisoners who would draw. So Alberta could have been wrong in her lecture. In the movie that Charlie watches on channel 26 and the book Lionel read, particularly chapter 26  it is shown that it is wrong for the  Aboriginal People to win and the ‘white’ hero always comes out on top.

So adding all this up together I have come to the conclusion that the number twenty-six symbolizes all the wrong things that have happened to the Aboriginal Peoples worldwide.  It shows all the loss of land, the torment that their people have gone through because of people who think that they are coming to a “New World” but are instead of coming to a place that is already occupied.

That is all for my hypertext post! I hope you all enjoy your weekend. I hope my little spiel about holidays doesn’t ruin your Thanksgiving!

Assigned Pages: 200-220

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4 thoughts on “We are celebrating the Wrong Things

  1. colleypriest says:

    I definitely did not pick out the use of the number twenty-six. But it makes sense, I wonder how much research King had to put in for that. It’s great that you tied in both North American and Australian aboriginals as both suffered at the hands of British Colonies and continue to this day to be overshadowed by their ancestors.

  2. saintweasel says:

    Hey, that’s a pretty awesome find. It’s hilarious now that I think about it, because these details are precisely the ones that Dr. Joseph Hovaugh would notice.

  3. So good …. and yes saintweasel, I was thinking the same thing as I picked up on the ‘obsession’ — perfect. I think King both admired and suspected Frye …., but I don’t know.

  4. What a great post, and I loved the comment below: you are clever, indeed and good at this game of hunting down allusions and making them enrich your reading, while at the same time entertaining your fellow classmate, oh – and me!

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