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Cherie Dimaline’s “Marrow Thieves” Novel Analysis

From the Marrow Thieves, the narrator of the novel is a sixteen-year-old Métis lad. Francis is his given name; however, he is rarely addressed as such. By the age of eleven, Frenchie had lost his father, mother, and older brother, Mitch. Frenchie is profoundly affected by his parents’ absences. Even though he adores his family, he and the other children with whom he interacts made it for Miig. As the other kids in Miig’s group, Frenchie knows how to shoot a gun and is training to use arrows.

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Frenchie takes the role of older brother for RiRi, a seven-year-old that longs to listen “Tale,” their society’s explanation of the way the world came to be in its cuurent form. Francis makes a concerted effort to safeguard RiRi by deferring delivering her Story till Miig thinks she is prepared and afterward reassuring her that everything would be fine once she hears it. After Rose joins Miig’s party, Frenchie begins to assist Miig together with Chi-Boy in setting priorities and assessing the team, despite the fact that Frenchie is still a kid in some ways. He looks up to the Seniors and tries everything he can to replicate their motions and characteristics, allowing Frenchie to practice becoming a grown-up in a reasonably safe setting. Frenchie, an accomplished climber, often climbs trees to have a better perspective on his setting.

Following Rose’s comeback, Frenchie sees climbing like a way to support his parents while also attempting to please Rose. Following his failure saving RiRi and his subsequent shooting of Travis for leaving them and prompting RiRi’s death, Frenchie starts to question his own personality as well as the position in the universe. He also misses Minerva’s sacrifice until it was too late. After Frenchie takes his family to an Indigenous resistance movement and finds Dad there, his feeling of being insecure and sometimes desire for demise is exacerbated. Frenchie eventually comes to terms with his flaws and comes to appreciate his identity as a culturally and linguistically diverse man and his culture.

Frenchie suffers bodily pain as he flees the Headhunters and goes alone through the forest. However, it is his anguish and alienation from his family that he finds the most distressing. Author Cherie Dimaline emphasizes the importance of family through Frenchie’s interaction with a band of wild guinea pigs. Although their father is defending them, the newborn animals are less terrified of him, according to Frenchie. While they are all in difficult situations, he believes that the guinea pigs are better positioned because they still possess their nuclear family. Frenchie, on the other hand, is entirely alone.

This is evidence from the quote spoken by Francis. ” We’re all going to die regardless. I think I’ll turn your children into shish kebabs. I didn’t say it in jest. I looked into their warm, watchful eyes, which were not frightened by the threat of a human being. They realized they were healthy because their father was there. Like sand in a windstorm, tears began to accumulate behind my eyes. What did I mean when I opened my mouth? To make an apology to a herd of wild guinea pigs? To justify why what I’d said wasn’t what I meant? To inform them that I obviously overlooked my community?

Considering the tragedy, they’ve all been through, as well as the reality that all other blood-related families have been ripped apart, the theme of community and growing up emerges. Miig’s introduction of the eight youngsters and younger people with whom he walks as his family is telling a patchwork selected family has been the only sort of family that most of the characters in the novel have ever had. This, however, is a challenging idea for Frenchie, who frequently thinks of his sibling, Mitch, that gave his life to save Frenchie. Frenchie would value what resemblance of a family he has, Miig and others in the group, in the middle of this crushing grief and the dissolution of his original family.

With the boot and the rifle, Frenchie felt utterly isolated. He swung around and ran back the way he came, ignoring Miig’s pleas to slow down. When Frenchie terrifies the twins, Travis grimaces and worries if Lincoln murdered RiRi. Travis attempts to reason with Frenchie, however when he notices Travis’s terrified face, he becomes furious. As Frenchie raises the rifle at Travis, he begs. The tree tries to argue with Frenchie, but he can probably notice him, so he aims the gun at Travis’s face, then his chest. He pulls the trigger on the gun. When he takes his parents to an Indigenous resistance group and discovers Dad there, Frenchie feels estranged, and his desire for death grows. Frenchie gradually grips with his faults and begins to take pleasure in his culture as a young Indigenous guy and in his clan.

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Frenchie’s involvement in the rebel organization compels him to reconcile his passage of time into his personality. In relation to his present chosen family, he attempts to make sense of his developing adult self. When Frenchie arrives, he discovers far more than he anticipated: his father is still alive and well. This shift in situations, in which Frenchie has a preferred group led by Miig, Dad, and the prospect of a genuine adult relationship with Rose, is daunting for Frenchie. Frenchie wonders whether any of these three types of families makes him appear like himself, as well as which family will allow him to be the most successful in his new position as a protector, as the three types of family collide.

Because of Frenchie’s usually good behavior and friendly personality, Rose chooses to abandon the gang and go out on her own. The loss of this component of Frenchie’s family that, more than anyone else, bodes well for the future causes Frenchie to realize that, in the end, pursuing Rose seems to be the better choice for Frenchie to battle for his family and the destiny of all Native individuals. Going back to the village with Rose enables Frenchie to recognize how his interactions with his relatives, including adopted and genetic, are essential in Francis’ comprehension of the familial history, society, as well as culture, which form his sense of self-identity as he matures.

This is evidenced from the book’s quote that says that Rose packs up her belongings and prepares to leave one day. When Rose arrives to say goodbye for everybody, Frenchie remains in the trees until sunset and discovers how to write “family” in syllabics. Frenchie despises himself for it, but he believes he can’t abandon his family or father. Frenchie decides that running is a waste of money and time and reaches for Miig’s pocket. When he unlocks it, he finds tobacco and a half-filled glass vial containing Isaac’s bone marrow, which Frenchie thinks is Isaac’s bone marrow. The pouch must be returned, and Frenchie is well aware of this.


Connection, Québec Reading. “The Marrow Thieves–Québec Reading Connection.” (2021).

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