This novel is a story of a man coming home to search for his identity. The narrator of the novel is a Blackfoot Indian in his early thirties whose name is not revealed in the novel. A name revels a identity which the narrator does not have. I think the narrator in the story is anonymous because his experience can be universal to everyone regardless of his gender or race. The narrator feels anxious and confused not knowing his past, and therefore, feels uncertain about his future either. The narrator does not have an identity since he is alienated in both white man and Indian’s society.
Being an Indian, he feels that he does not belong to white people’s society. This story takes place on a cattle ranch in Montana. He lives on a ranch with his mother and stepdad. He is alienated and feels no affection for his family. He has no direction in his life and also seems to have no purpose as well. He is basically sleepwalking through his life along with tormented by visions occurring, in search of a connection to his heritage. When he journeys out to visit some towns to find his girlfriend who stole from him, he gets intoxicated in various pubs and indulges in meaningless sex with random women.
The narrator has important encounters with an old Indian named Yellow Calf, where he learns all about his family heritage. This novel shows the highs and lows of the narrator’s struggle to make sense of life. The novel propels us closer to an alienation that is not so easily showed but commonly felt. The narrator’s girlfriend in the novel is named Agnes and she is a young Cree woman. She is from Havre but lives with him for a few weeks. His grandmother hates her because she is Cree. Agnes walks out on him and steals his gun and electric razor.
“From separate catastrophes, two rural families flee to the city and find themselves sharing a great, breathing, shuddering joint called Cloudstreet, where they begin their lives again from scratch. For twenty years they roister and rankle, laugh and curse until the roof over their heads becomes a home for their hearts. ” (Winton, 1991) Tim Winton’s critically acclaimed novel, Cloudstreet is a ...
He meets her again in Havre. He notices that she lives an aimless life full of drinking and promiscuity. Alienation is one of the major themes in this novel. The narrator suffers the sense of alienation from the beginning of the story. “He is alienated from his family, his community, his land, and his own past…. because he has lost the story of who he is, where he has come from” (2).
The narrator is in an alienated state of mind, making him isolated and emotionless. He does not feel any affection for his family and his girlfriend. His emotional life is simply dead.
In the beginning he sets the tone of the novel, he refers to this state of mind as “distance,” and says it has been growing in him for years. He knows this is happening but does nothing about it. Parts of this distance feeling his is going through can be because of the narrator of the novel is disheartened by the loss loss of his brother and father. The novel is metaphor of a journey that he represents the need to come home. He needs to find himself, his history and his family heritage. He does not feel a sense of belonging when he comes to his home either.
He feels that “coming home was not easy anymore. ” The feeling contradicts with itself. The word or idea of “home” is meant to make one feel at ease without burden. Yet, in the novel we see how the narrator struggles from being at the “alienated” home again. Even so, he feels that it is his “mission” to find out the answer for the questions that has haunted him for decades. This says that he might be hurt or does not feel like his home is home. There is tons of feeling distanced and alienated in the novel. Some are linked to the land and maybe culture of the narrator.
We notice that the distance between a place and person is self-imposed and not specific to a generation of an Indian. The narrator’s inability to find his own place within the world causes a conflict that makes the necessary desire, although not self-aware yet, for him to move forward. There are other things in the novel that describe disconnectedness. The narrator’s thoughts show us more things to his self-imposed alienation. When he brings in his girlfriend to the novel it quotes “And the girl who was thought to be my wife. ”(11).
Native Son & Black Boy 1. The point of view of this novel would be third-person narrator, which is neither objective or omni cent; just all knowing. Throughout the novel the narrator sees through the eyes of bigger which in turn helps get a really good picture and description of the way the black community is. Due to this the white people are kind of poorly described because it is described as ...
This states that even his girlfriend he has no feelings for.
No connectedness. As the story develops, we can see how the narrator comes to a better understanding of himself and of his home. Only through oral tradition can he find out the answer that he has longed for. Again, in this novel, we can see how history plays an important role when defining one’s identity. His grandmother becomes a media that brings the narrator back to the past. Only by knowing the past, or history, can one fully find his identity. Finally, I would like to mention the book title’s significance. I interpret the title from the perspectives of the colors.
Winter is usually associated with color white, which indicates the white people who oppress the Native people or the “red” race and blood is often linked with color red. In the story, Yellow Calf’s generation migrated to different places when the white soldier came and drove them away. It is just like when the winter (the white soldiers) come, they (the red people) are being driven away. The book title suggests how the Native American people have long been oppressed and bullied by the harsh white race, thus, calling the story “winter in the blood. ”