Code Talker

Written by: Joseph Bruchac

Theme one: The color of your skin doesn't matter

In this story a Navajo Indian named Ned Begay was forced to enroll in a boarding school. This school taught by white men. These men forced all of the Navajo to learn English and to leave all of their belongings at the gate. The white men verbally and physically abused the Navajo every time they used their native language. They were repeatedly told that they would never amount to anything.

During WW2 the Japanese kept breaking US codes so they decided to try the Navajo language as the new code. It was so hard to learn that no white men could speak it. One day at his school a recruiter came to talk to the Navajos about joining the marines. A few days later Ned signed up and was taken to boot camp. While at boot camp they had to cross the desert with only one canteen of water. The white men failed but the Navajo made it to the end. Nobody thought that a Navajo Indian would know how to shoot a gun, but they learned fast and eventually shot just as good as the white soldiers. Throughout this book it proves time and time again that the color of your skin of how you lived before the war doesn't make you any better or worse than anyone else.

Theme two: Don't take your life for granted

While fighting in Guam Ned experiences many near death experiences and saw many dead bodies. He never wanted to make many friends while in combat because it was likely that on your next mission your friend wouldn't make it back. While operating his radio Ned was shot in the shoulder by the enemy. Luckily he was able to get fixed up and got sent back out into the field. Another example is when one of his few friends got shot in the neck, he ran over to him and tried to stop the blood from gushing out of his neck. A medic came over and took him away, Ned never saw him again. The war taught Ned to never take your life for granted because it can be gone in the blink of an eye.

How the themes relate...

These themes relate because no matter the color of your skin, where you came from, or who your parents are in the time war you all fight for the same thing. Everyone on the battle field fights for the man beside him and himself doing everything possible to make it back home and defeat the enemy. Everyone becomes equal and nobody take their life for granted.
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