Search of Identity as a Cultural Intercessor
Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach represents a several mixed identities present in Haisla nation using various characters and their experience to show the effect of colonization and assimilation. Ma-ma-oo, Lisa’s grandmother, is a lady who tries to follow and hand the tradition over to the next generation whereas Lisa’s mother has been westernized by colonization that she is more like European person inside indigenous person’s body. Throughout the novel, Lisa struggles between Ma-ma-oo’s teaching of Haisla tradition and the mother’s attempt to assimilate her to western culture which comes from the colonization of First Nations. She tries to balance and find sense of who she is when there is a collision between tradition of past and the environment of the present. The flashbacks Lisa has throughout the novel coincide with present day thoughts and memories.