Three Day Road: Character Development Essay

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The two main characters in the novel “Three Day Road” by Joseph Boyden; Xavier Bird and Elijah Weesageechack, have many key differences that are illustrated throughout the novel. Xavier is reserved and visceral, while Elijah is self-assured and talkative. Xavier was raised by his Aunt Niska for the Majority of his childhood, opposed to how Elijah was raised in Moose Factory by nuns at a residential school. These factors hold an important responsibility on their personalities and the way that they think and make decisions. The three key differences between them that are paramount to the story and the themes of the novel are; firstly their respect for their Oji-Cree culture, secondly their respect and love for human life, and lastly their…show more content…
Then I find myself reaching for my knife. But what he said makes me gag and I kneel down and stick my finger down my throat. The contents of my stomach come out in a slimy glob”. (Page 310) This example highlights the fact that Xavier isn’t even willing to joke about eating German citizens, while Elijah doesn’t only find it funny he can’t understand why Xavier would take it so incredibly seriously. Elijah’s lack of respect for the people he kills shows a vicious brutality that is not seen in Xavier Bird. A second example of how Xavier and Elijah’s personalities contrast can be seen through Elijah’s thirst to kill people. Elijah’s obsession over carnage can be highlighted in the following excerpt, “In the long hours of hunting Elijah tries to understand what is growing on him. He talks to me about this through the nights we spend out in the damp and mud. Mist rises from craters and swirls in the stink. In the end, the answer that comes is simple. Elijah has learned to take pleasure in killing” (Page 283). This quote is an incredible example of Elijah’s brutality because it is not only seen through his actions, but also his thought process. It proves that Elijah is not just killing for necessity he has actually gone mad. This highlights the difference between the two characters because Xavier strictly kills so he can survive through the war. The
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