Conflicts are an integral part of the plot, which contribute to revealing the feelings of the protagonists. They are a source of dramatic situations, a catalyst of tension of physical and emotional forces of the heroes involved in the struggle. A character can experience diverse emotions and harmonize with society or, on the contrary, oppose it. The relationship and conflict between a person and community became the foundation for the School Days of an Indian Girl by Zitkala-Sa.
The School Days of an Indian Girl is autobiographical and tells the story of a girl with a distinct perspective. She explains her experiences in a boarding school whose educators’ foremost aim was to eliminate cultural traits in a person, from native language to customs and habits. Zitkala-Sa does not want to obey the rules of white society and get rid of her values, but she has no alternative because otherwise, she would receive horrible punishments. This attitude of the white man towards the Native Americans was the leading reason for hardship in the relationship between the character and forcing society. The conflict between them contributes to understanding Native Americans’ suffering because of racial discrimination. The author’s objective is to convey the emotions minorities experience outside of their nation. Through the conflict, one can comprehend how harsh the authorities’ policies were and how challenging it is for people when the central part of their existence, culture, is taken away.
Zitkala-Sa describes a sense of isolation in the white world, which forces her to speak a different language, get rid of her lengthy hair, and change her habits drastically. The author creates the conflict for readers to recognize the aspirations of Native Indians to oppose white culture. Their frustration and despair were the foremost reason for the solid spirit and the strength that led to their aspirations to fight for independence. The author strains to convey the significance of each person’s values and cultural specificities and describes the Native Indian’s experience in an unknown white society. Therefore, Zitkala-Sa constructed the conflict in such a way to convey the valuable role of multiculturalism and the ability of individuals to follow their values.