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63. Scott O’dell’s View Towards Woman’s Position In Nineteenth Century Indian’s Society As Reflected In Streams To The River, River To The Sea


Scott O’Dell’s Streams to the River, River to the Sea is a reflection of the nineteenth century social condition in Indian society, especially women’s position in the society. Women in the Indian society were destined to be inferior. They never had a good position in the society. Almost all of the laws in the society were unfair to women. It gave them the lowest position in the society. Since this is a historical fiction novel, Scott O’Dell through Sacagawea, the character in his novel Streams to the River, River to the Sea tried to give a new perspective about women. He also tried to show the reader that unconsciously, in fact, women are superior, by giving his opinion and criticism about women’s position in Indian society.

There are three issues to address in this final project namely the description of the characters, the explanation about the aspects of women’s position through Sacagawea’s characteristics, and the description of Scott O’Dell’s view towards women’s position in nineteenth century Indian society.

This final project is a library research. Therefore, the first data were taken from the novel Streams to the River, River to the Sea written by Scott O’Dell. Other data were taken from some supporting books, such as critical books, reviews or essay from Internet, and theoretical books. The writer used sociocultural-historical approach to show that the novel is a reflection of the situation in the nineteenth century Indian society during the expedition of Lewis and Clark, seen from Sacagawea’s point of view as a woman who was described to be inferior than man.

The writer’s conclusion after analyzing the novel is first of all, Toussaint Charbonneau is described as a rough and rude husband. Captain Clark is described as a very nice helpful person. Black Moccasin is described as an unwise chieftain. Blue Sky is described as a kind person. Red Hawk is described as an arrogant shy person and Tall Rock is described as a coward man. All of these characterizations give big influences toward Sacagawea, so that she is characterized as a helpful, strong, and rigid woman who never complains and never gives up in doing anything she has never done yet. By analyzing Sacagawea’s characteristics, the writer finds the aspects of women’s position such as losing freedom by getting married, unfair rules toward women, and relationship between a husband and a wife in the family. Through Sacagawea, Scott O’Dell also gives his opinions and criticisms toward women’s position in nineteenth century Indian society. The views are about some unfair social conditions happen to Sacagawea as a woman, men’s superiority that places a woman in a very bad condition, the inferiority of women’s position toward the husband and the losing of status by getting married to red people.
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