Essay about Search for Self in Blue Winds Dancing

712 Words 3 Pages
Search for Self in Blue Winds Dancing

Blue Winds Dancing by author Tom Whitecloud, is narrated by the story's unnamed main character. The young Indian man's persona is brought to life through his own recollection and spoken words. We recognize the turmoil this character faces as he is away from "his people," attending college in White man's society. He doubts his place in either world, believes he must choose between them, and realizes finally that being an Indian is only one part of who he is. Through his thoughts, actions and words we gain understanding of this character's attitudes of confusion and inferiority in his struggle to define his niche in society.

The character's feelings of not belonging are represented in his
…show more content…
"It seems as though I were among people I have never seen before"(122) are his words as he enters the lodge where they have gathered to celebrate Christmas.

The character shows definite signs of bitterness toward White men and their attitude of superiority. He scoffs at the organization of their society and calls it "a beauty of captivity"(119). A mere existence where freedom and individuality have given way to a life of dictated regulation. "Here where all the orange trees line in military rows, and endlessly bear fruit"(119). The young man does not want to be another "orange tree" whose life is decided by the conforming ways of their society, "dancing to the strings of custom and tradition"(119).

What then is he striving for? He tells us of the beauty and calm of his homeland, and how much he desires to be back among his people and the simplicity and freedom of their lifestyle, but he is also angry that his people are forced to live such a menial existence. "I feel suddenly angry that my people should have to do such things for a living"(120). This is what is at the core of his struggle, the supposition that he has to choose between living as an inferior Indian with their "freedoms," or parallel the rigid, dictated life that he feels the white men live. It is the reason he feels alone among the pines.

It is after talking to some hobos and bums on the train that that the young man starts to realize what his sociology professor was trying to tell
Open Document