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Origins of Mesquakie

kgrass's picture

  In class today we discussed what Generosity may have evolved from, and sources that may have inspired Powers. It motivated me to explore the origin of the name of the invented college, “Mesquakie College of Art”. Mesquakie is the name of a Native American tribe that settled in the Great Lakes region, and who were forced to leave their homes when European settlers came to the area. These people were displaced in their own homeland, much like Thassa had been when she became a refugee. 

 It makes me think about Powers’ motivation to make Miss Generosity a foreigner rather than someone from America. There are people who have been displaced, even in America (hurricane Katrina, for example).   What Thassa had to go through is still unimaginable to many of us, however. She not only lost her home and much of her family, but she can never return to the past life she once led. Would making the character an American make her too relatable, while making her a foreigner gives her an even greater sense of mystery and an unimaginable amount of suffering, so that it makes her happiness even more unimaginable?  

Comments

KT's picture

We're All Refugees

You’ve come up with an interesting angle that I hadn’t thought to consider. Very cool!

I think that Thassa is a dramatic example of what we’re all going through, really. Given how we, and everything around us changes over time, none of us can ever “go home.” We’re always refugees from our past selves and our past lives. I think that making Thassa an immigrant serves to highlight this point. 

 

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