Coyote and the enemy aliens
“Coyote and the Enemy Aliens” is a satirical commentary that explores the employment of language as a weapon to manipulate societal stereotypes; contemplating its ability to eradicate communal bonding. King constructs the minor antagonist, Coyote as a character engulfed in ignorance that constantly tries to depict his grotesque actions in euphemistic light by altering language. Through this notion, King is able to critique power structures in society and is able to expound on how Canadian political entities misused language to propagate destructive ideas in community spaces. By illustrating the ignorant societal perspectives of Coyote, King is able to expound on the intense manipulation of the general populous in Canada through exploitation of language. Furthermore,King employs the traditional trickster notion of Coyote to exemplify the striking parallel constructed between the assimilation of the indigenous populous and the interment of the Japanese.
King critiques the intense manipulation of language and nationalist sentiments in the community by expounding on how white- men and Coyote employ it to alienate Japanese in societal spaces. The white- men justify their crime of subjecting Japanese Canadians to dismal living conditions and storing them in ‘livestock’ (58) buildings by employing the word “legal”. They corrupt society and alienate Japanese by legalizing this crime via a paper” Order -in- council 469”(57). King satirizes this notion depicting how an inefficient dimwit like Coyote obtains immense power via his legalization as the” Custodian of Enemy Alien Property” (57) by white-men. King compares the destructive capabilities of “legal” to “White magic” (59), constructing an image of white politicians using “magic” to hypnotize society. The white-men assert a tag of “Enemy Aliens” to Japanese, which is ironic as most of them were Canadian citizens. This irony elaborates on the immense manipulation of language by the government as it used “white magic words” to imprison its own citizens. Coyote is employed to “disperse” (62) enemy aliens, illustrating how white - men manipulate language to depict their oppression in a euphemistic alternative. King authorially intrudes the text, ridiculing the word “disperse” and offers more realistic alternatives as “Disdain, Disappear, Distress, Disaster….” (62) to critique power structures in Canada. The white-men enslave the Japanese, but evade this notion by employing language to present it as a way of observing the loyalty of the Japanese to Canada. King critiques this horrendous idea by exemplifying in how white-men themselves lack nationalist sentiments as they are inefficient in singing “O Canada”. The climax of the prose illustrates the disturbing elements of socio-political history in Canada. The political entities stand in the near vicinity of the vehicle, “singing “O Canada.” and waving flags” (67) while the RCMP’s “disperse” the Japanese. Through the depiction of this disturbing image, King criticizes racist political leaders in Canada that justified their crimes cemented on ideals of nationalism reflecting the moral conscience of colonial Canada. The insensitivity of white men is portrayed in their embarkment of engineering the atomic bomb. In the near conclusion of the story, Coyote travels to Los Alamos to “make the world safe for freedom” (69). The white men euphemistically portray the Manhattan project (in Los Alamos) as a catalyst of peace and prosperity. However, this notion is ironic as this project engineered a mass destruction weapon, the atomic bomb. King inputs this powerful idea to expose the hippocratic nature of white-men in that era, who patronized themselves as saints, but in reality, were responsible for societal corruption by propagating ludicrous ideas via manipulating language .