Conflict in the attitude of the narrator
Tom Whitecloud presents his work by using conflict in the attitude of the narrator. Conflict is the primary element that drives the plot of this short story. It shows how the narrator struggles with both the inner self and outside forces of societies, which arouse curiosity and interests among readers.
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The narrator faces a dilemma because he must deal with his conflict. Internal conflict results from the narrator’s struggle for self-identity while external conflict comes from the society in which he must struggle to cope and fit. The narrator’s diverse views on both white and native Indian cultures drive conflicts in him.
Attitude towards civilization
The narrator has received education, which has made him civilized. Moreover, he has stayed in the city for a long time to understand the differences between city life and native life. However, the narrator has not embraced civilization. The narrator notes that he has lost the peace of a calm life because of the everyday activities of the big city. The narrator demonstrates his dissatisfaction with the civilized white society as he states, “I am tired.
I am weary of trying to keep up this bluff of being civilized” (Whitecloud 1). The narrator claims that being civilized in the way of the white implies doing the opposite and not caring about neighbors. Civilization means dissatisfaction. This sense of discontent with civilization has resulted in conflict within the narrator.
The narrator is the protagonist. The antagonist in the short story is a set of opposing values, which the narrator must understand to understand his own identity. The ancient Native Indian beliefs and modern civilization lead to an internal struggle within the narrator.
The narrator wants to be a part of the native society and at the same time, be a part of the white society (Roberts and Jacobs 119). However, at the end of the story, the narrator identifies with his native Indian culture.
“I am alone; alone but not nearly so lonely as I was back at the campus at school” (Whitecloud 3)
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The narrator is alone but not lonely. He is approaching the end of the journey. The narrator has run away from school. On his way back to the native land, the narrator notes that he has been lonely. The narrator has been away from his heritage, upbringing, people, beliefs, and attitude.
The narrator walks alone, but he is not lonely because of the snow and pines. He understands the native life better than he does the city life. While the narrator lacks another companion during his journey, he finds companionship in the natural world of snow, pines, plants, and mountains (Toupin 1).
Blue Winds Dancing – what kind of wisdom?
The narrator finally finds wisdom at the reservation where he had failed to look earlier. While the narrator is on the reservation, he struggles with the idea of whether he is Indian or white. The narrator also wonders whether natives would still recognize and accept him. However, his father and his people accept him without questions. The wisdom comes only after the narrator has experienced white society.
This experience makes him appreciate his native society and its richness. To the narrator, the wisdom is in coming together, being with nature, feeling happy, and the beauty of nature (Villarreal 1). Wisdom allows the narrator to resolve the inner conflict of identity crisis and conflict with cultures.
Roberts, Edgar and Henry Jacobs. Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1995. Print.
Toupin, Philip. Alone among the Pines. 1997. Web. 8 Dec. 2013. <http://www.qcc.mass.edu/booth/write/alone.html>.
Villarreal, Jose. Blue Winds Dancing: The Whitecloud Collection of Native American Art. 2007. Web. 8 Dec. 2013. <http://artdaily.com/news/22750/Blue-Winds-Dancing– The-Whitecloud-Collection-of-Native-American-Art#.UqP7Lyc2DjI>.
Whitecloud, Thomas. Blue Winds Dancing. 1938. Web. 8 Dec. 2013. <http://kareyperkins.com/classes/420/bluewindsdancing.pdf>.