14 A Night on the Mountain

naïve – innocent; lacking understanding

  1. Why, according to Carter, do white men unfairly label Indians as “Indian givers”?
  2. How, according to Carter, do Indians feel about shaking hands?
  3. In questions one and two, Carter gives the reader explanations for stereotypical Indian behaviors and terms. To what degree to you believe these explanations? Can you think of any other incidents in this story that seem to be more stereotypical than true?
  4. Critics of Forrest Carter point out that this story is not an autobiography in the strict definition of the word. Carter was not an orphan, and his grandparents did not raise him. By checking the newer dictionaries of the Cherokee language, the critics have determined that the Cherokee words in this story are not accurate. Many believe this novel is based on Carter’s grandfather, who died when Carter was five, and on family fables. Cite two incidents from the story so far that seem to be more fables than true stories.
  5. List two problems “Mr. Slick” and “Mr. Chunk” endure because of their ignorance of na- ture. Why does Little Tree fail to warn them of the dangers?
  6. Why does Granma put special root powders into Mr. Slick and Mr. Chunk’s food?
  7. What is your overall impression of this chapter?