As we have discussed in class through personal experience and narrative, the purpose of mapping the self is both a metaphorical sense and a physical sense.
King’s short story is not a typical narrative. The story frequently bounces from subject, and revolves around different time periods. The reader becomes disoriented through this technique. Yet this form connects directly to the message King creates with the boy and his mother. As the mother constantly states she is Blackfoot and refuses to label herself as American or Canadian, she is refusing to define herself and trapping herself into one “box”. Her message conveys that there is more than simply American and Canadian, and people should see that there are alternatives. Not only, are there alternatives, but there is also ambiguous. This “other” is not a label, a box or a restriction. It is room to add, subtract and develop the person or an area. King is revolting against the restriction which does not allow for growth, but is only negative motionlessness.
Within the individual, can we fully connect the concept of mapping oneself physically and conceptually. Both aspects are interrelated, but the link between the actual and metaphorical relies in the person. By mapping, however, are we forcing ourselves into a specific role or geographical area that cannot be altered or congealed. Physically, mapping restricts an area and labels it a certain name or surrounding, without room to interpret or grow. It is defined by the pictures and writing physically defined. From this mapping, an individual can define himself/herself as a specific gender, nationality, religion, and race, but again this labeling is also a restriction that can be viewed as a disconnect. These restrictions form borders and enable static thinking and restrictions to be a constant within the individual and the area. Mapping appears to be a specifically termed, and the humans, culture, nature are confined within that space to an exact region with no room for growth. Yet, there is an alternative perspective to mapping that can serve a positive outlook to this restriction deemed by map; bridges can be formed to link regions to regions.
However, bridges still lack integration or ambiguity that can suggest further growth, development and continual assimilation. Haufo’o is similar to this point because he does not want to be labeled and in affect restricted to specifics based on a map or human perspective. King is suggesting that the uncertainty, the space between defined and undefined, should be valued. Also, he is pointing out that ambiguity exists.