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Coyote Goes to Toronto
Transcript of Coyote Goes to Toronto
By thomas king
come up with a theme idea for this poem based only on the title "coyote goes to toronto".
Discuss with a Partner
It is clear that the character "Coyote" came from somewhere small and isolated considering her desire to be in Toronto, which is a place most would call ordinary.
The word "FAMOUS" is capitalized to show the emphasis of Coyote's feelings towards Toronto. Clearly she sees Toronto as a place to be desired, that is full of famous people and places.
It says that she waited for something to happen, but nothing did. This shows us how innocent Coyote is and oblivious to what Toronto is; a normal city with no special powers or illusions.
Coyote's hunger symbolizes her desire for fame. This restaurant is the place where she can indulge herself in the mainstream trends of the current time.
The act of painting herself in the green illustrates her conforming to these social norms, and ultimately cloaking her culture and isolation from society in a mask of green paint.
After fulfilling her wishes in Toronto she goes back to her home in the "rez" which we have interpreted to be a short form for native reserve, further supporting the point of her losing her native culture.
King then mentions that all of the outdoor elements surround Coyote. These elements can be interpreted as her friends and family slowly tearing away at her green mask.
Eventually the paint starts to peel and once again Coyote's true self begins to show. Her friends and family begin to recognize her again, but as an unhealthy or tainted version of her self.
Now Coyote's people begin to clean off her mask by feeding
and brushing her. In a sense she is being cleansed of her exposure
to the world and groomed back into her cultural roots.
She may be rid of her green mask, and once again integrated back
into her old ways, however she will never be the same.
In the last stanza it states "I been to Toronto Coyote tells the people. Yes, everybody says, we can SEE that.". This shows that her experience in Toronto will stay with her forever and has truly changed her in a way that is clearly noticeable to those around her.
The reason the word 'SEE' is capitalized is because her people are trying to emphasize the blatancy of her change and how that change was, in their opinion, for the worse.
The Author's message
It is often necessary to stray away from one's structured path in order to understand one's true self.
Do you think that rebellion from your culture/parents is necessary? Why or why not?